The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is seeking views on proposed changes to the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). The consultation proposes changes that are designed to improve the accuracy of the procedure.

The consultation document outlines five main amendments relating to: CO2 emissions factors, use of regional weather data, heating and hot water systems with boilers, insulation and extent of primary pipe work, default seasonal performance factors for heat pumps.

The following improvements directly relate to solar photovoltaic calculations:

The method for determining CO2 emission factors is set to be revised to provide more comprehensive coverage of emission impacts. The document proposes that by expanding consideration to CH4 (Methane) and N2O (Nitrous Oxide), SAP calculations will provide a more comprehensive assessment of the environmental impact of energy use.

The consultation also proposes an introduction of a revised basis for calculating solar radiation for different roof pitches. The revised basis for calculating solar radiation has been developed using solar radiation figures from horizontal values based on orientation and pitch.

The document recommends that when PV panels are installed on a block of flats and connected to the landlord’s supply instead of the individual, the Energy Performance Certificate for the flat will include the relevant share of the carbon savings from the PV panels, but no cost savings will attributed to the flat.

In order to maintain the accuracy and integrity of SAP, DECC is proposing to establish a SAP Integrity Group. The independent advisory group will be made up of six to eight individuals with expertise relating to energy modelling and the application of the SAP. The SAP Integrity Group will be charged with advising DECC on SAP development and safeguarding the scientific integrity of the process.

All responses to the consultation should be submitted to DECC by March 28. The full details of proposed changes to the SAP can be found here.