That's carb short for carbon footprint. In case you hadn't heard already, in the UK, there is a new energy rating system called the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). An EPC conveys summary information about the potential energy performance of a building, it's fabric and services. The Energy Performance Certificate gives an A to G rating - called the Asset Rating - of energy performance based on CO2 emissions and includes recommendations for improvement. EPCs will be accompanied by a Recommendation Report highlighting measures which, if adopted, have the potential to save energy and money. Energy Performance Certificates will remain valid for ten years unless the building is modified. To see an example of an EPC please click here.
The directive itself was inspired by the Kyoto Protocol which commits the EU to reduce CO2 by 8% by 2010, to 5.2% below 1990 levels. The rating system has been in effect since the August 1, 2007 in England and Wales for domestic properties, but as of October, 1, 2008, all non-domestic buildings on construction, sale and rent will require a Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (NDEPC) and a Recommendation Report (RR).
By October 2008, all larger public buildings will require an annual Display Energy Certificate (DEC) highlighting their energy performance. This is to be displayed prominently in a place visible to the public. These buildings will also require an Advisory Report (AR) providing recommendations for energy improvements each seven years.
Because this is such a visible mark (like the Food and Drug Administration’s labeling requirements for nutritional contents in food), there are significant incentives for building owners to make improvements to their buildings to make them market competitive.