Real estate development and climate change

The UK government is increasingly taking climate-related issues into account while at the same time the number of electric cars is constantly increasing. The government therefore considers the impact of global warming more broadly, in particular on the development of infrastructure and properties. He launched two public consultations:

  • Foremost in his plans to expand building regulations (as far as England is concerned) to require all "new" buildings to be equipped for electric vehicles ("EV");
  • The second concerns plans to create “smart charging” points for electric vehicles to ensure that these electric vehicle points can meet additional demands for electricity.

These consultations are in line with the government’s goal of no new petrol and diesel cars being sold in the UK from 2040 (government Road to Zero strategy).

Consultation on Building Regulations

For Residential Buildings

Each new residential building with an associated parking space must have a charging station. Buildings undergoing a significant change in use to create housing and residential buildings undergoing major renovation with more than 10 parking spaces are also concerned and must have cable trays for charging stations for electric vehicles in each parking space.

Commercial Buildings

Each new non-residential building and each non-residential building undergoing major renovation with more than 10 parking spaces must have an electric vehicle charging point for every space in five.

A requirement of at least one charging station in existing non-residential buildings with more than 20 parking spaces will have to be met from 2025.

Consultation on Smart Charging

While the first consultation focused on the provision of EV charging stations, this consultation aims to introduce minimum standards that these EV charging stations must meet. The minimum standard the government wants to ensure is that all electric vehicle charging stations are “smart”. This means that the charging point gives the user the choice and flexibility of when to charge their vehicle's battery. It should be able to choose the time of day for charging and the charging speed remotely. The advantage is twofold: for the consumer, he can choose to recharge during `` off-peak '' hours (for example during the night, rather than immediately upon arrival home after work between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and for environment, it reduces the load on the electricity supply during these peak periods.

The switch from fossil fuels to electric vehicles is likely to lead to a radical change in the habits of UK citizens. When electric vehicles are the norm, electric vehicle charging will be done mainly at home, in public parking lots and in office parking lots. With the introduction of smart charging, we will likely see new "peaks" in electricity consumption that do not follow the "traditional" pattern. The effects of this on the grid are not yet known, but this consultation aims to minimize the impact and maximize the benefits of electric vehicles.

To find out about the obligations in terms of eco-responsible construction of buildings, do not hesitate to be accompanied by a lawyer specializing in real estate for the realization of your projects.

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