Essex Net Zero Policy Study

The Essex Net Zero Policy Study (Reports 1 and 2) led by Introba provides the technical evidence to support the specific policy requirements identified to ensure that new development in Essex is built to be net zero carbon in operation from the outset and aligns with climate targets.

To be net zero carbon in operation, the recommended policy approach requires all new buildings to be ultra low energy buildings that are fossil fuel free and generate renewable energy on-site to at least match annual energy use.  Specific energy targets are set for space heating and total energy use, which ensure high building fabric standards are achieved and energy demand is minimised (which also reduces energy bills).  The recommended policy approach is set out in detail in Report 1.

The capital cost uplift of the recommended policy approach over and above the requirements of current Building Regulations (2021) is also examined in Report 1. These costs can be used to inform each Essex LPA’s local plan viability study.  The costs are similar or lower to the costs assessed in the high level Net Zero Viability Study for Essex by Three Dragons, which is positive for viability.

Report 2 supports LPAs and applicants with the implementation of the recommended policy approach through the development management process by setting out the information that needs to be submitted with planning applications.  The report also includes design guidance and evidence checklists.  

The study underpins the Planning Policy Position for Net Zero Carbon Homes and Buildings in Greater Essex – available here 

The study reports are available below:

Report 1: Essex Net Zero Policy – Technical Evidence Base (Introba, Etude and Currie & Brown, July 2023)

Report 2: Essex Net Zero Policy – Summary of Policy, Evidence and Validation Requirements (Introba, Etude and Currie & Brown, July 2023)

Page updated: 10/12/2023

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