The “Merton Rule” (UDP policy PE13) was introduced in 2003 and required all new commercial developments to generate 10% of their energy needs from onsite renewable energy. As other boroughs started to take up the idea, the GLA decided to include a policy in its 2005 London Plan requiring a 20% cut in carbon emissions from renewables. This target was progressively ramped up in succeeding iterations of the Plan until the current (2021) version that now requires both residential and commercial developments to be zero-carbon.
The energy monitoring idea started out as a Merton Council initiative to develop an automated (administrative and technical) system for trying to find out if the PV panels and wind turbines etc were actually generating the amount of renewable energy (and cutting the amount of carbon) they were supposed to. The first version of the platform was designed by students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Massachusetts) in 2007 under the guidance of Prof Fabio Carrera who developed the “City Knowledge” concept.
In 2009 Energence Ltd (evolving out of Merton and WPI) set up as a venture to carry the “monitoring the Merton Rule” idea forward. By 2011 the fully functioning Automated Energy Monitoring Platform (AEMP) was operational.
In 2013 Ealing Council had decided that it wanted true confirmation that the renewable/low-carbon energy systems were delivering what they were supposed to – so it contracted Energence to coordinate the monitoring of them. Ealing planners added an Enforcement Condition to their Decision Notices that required Developers to install monitoring devises that uploaded the data to the AEMP. This became known as the “Ealing Condition” (a natural successor to the “Merton Rule”).
The platform has also monitored over 2,000 PV arrays and other energy systems for clients including the Kirklees Council, Cardiff Council, Town & Country Housing Association, the YHA, Open University, and Dept for Energy & Climate Change (before it was scrapped).