Working with listed buildings and within conservation areas

This advice is to assist everyone to take positive action to address the climate emergency by sensitively introducing energy efficiency measures and renewables to our built cultural heritage, such as to listed buildings and within conservation areas, without harming what makes these places special.

Energy efficiency

Historic England has produced energy efficiency and historic buildings guidance that includes a whole house approach to improving energy efficiency, advice on statutory requirements and guidance on installing energy efficiency measures in relation to our built cultural heritage that you may find of use.


Historic England has produced a variety of guidance on renewables, often referred to a microgeneration. This includes energy production from the sun, wind and heat from the ground.

Solar panels

Historic England have helpfully produced specific guidance covering the issues associated with installing solar photovoltaic panels on historic buildings and sites. The guidance describes the different options available, how they work, how to minimise the potential damage to the fabric and the visual impact of a renewable installation on the character and appearance of the building or site.

What to do next

The impact of works associated with energy efficiency and renewables on our built cultural heritage needs to be carefully considered. After reading the advice from Historic England, we would advise contacting the planning department at an early stage about your proposal.

If you are unsure of the need for consent, you should seek informal advice from the planning department. If consent is required for works you should seek pre-application advice on the acceptability of your proposal from a conservation officer. Find out about our pre-application conservation surgeries.