As a building is refurbished or developed from scratch energy assessments and energy strategies are often required to accord with local planning requirements.

Watkins Payne have extensive experience in producing these strategies which include a degree of feasibility related to the provision of renewable or low zero carbon technologies and how they impact the scheme.

In addition we can produce overheating analyses in line with CIBSE TM52 to see that buildings do not suffer from overheating and reduce the cooling demand of buildings.

Our team are also able to produce the relevant documentation required to accord with ENE01 and ENE04 BREEAM credits which need to be completed at RIBA Stage 2 and often as part of a planning application.

Energy strategies are a critical part of the planning process. Most local authorities have planning policies which stipulate a percentage improvement required over the notional building regulations compliant building. If the percentage improvement required cannot be achieved by the building (in the event of an extensive refurbishment for example where existing elements cannot be improved) a carbon offset payment is often required.

Our energy strategies look to implement passive and low energy design technologies as far as possible to reduce the baseline energy demand and CO2 emissions before any application of any ‘clean’ or ‘green’ technologies.

Passive technologies usually take the form of the following:


Clean technologies usually include the following:

  • Green technologies usually encompass:

Once we have included all of the above in the thermal model we will produce a report documenting what is included and what the development’s overall CO2 emissions are. If there is any offset payment to pay we can also assist in calculating that based on the local planning policy.

Whilst most councils will have their own specific policies one of the most commonly referred to policies is The London Plan which sets out the Mayor of London’s plan for a sustainable future for London.

The London Plan outlines an energy hierarchy which aims to inform the design, construction and operation of new developments:


Our methodology described above meets the requirements of ‘be lean’, ‘be clean’ and ‘be green’ as well as how we’d calculate any offset payment.

The latest London Plan released in 2021 also adds a ‘be seen’ element to their guidance which focusses around the use of energy monitoring of buildings moving forward. The primarily circles around the operational performance of the building rather than it’s performance in theory. Our building performance team, with their expertise in NABERS UK and Design for Performance (DfP) can assist in providing advice and modelling of buildings throughout their lifetime to see that this element of The London Plan is satisfied.

Get in touch with our energy performance team