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The Law Society - Conveyancing

19

Mar

2013

Multi-let and Commercial Properties affected by new Energy Performance Certificate Regulations from Jan 2013

Changes to the regime for Energy Performance Certificates

A number of changes to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regime took place in January 2013. New EPC Regulations commenced on 9 January 2013 that consolidated previous regulations and implemented the recast EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010 (EPB Directive). Further amendments came into force on 25 and 27 January that relate to the green deal scheme (please also see Green Deal article).

What changes to EPCs are required as a result of the green deal?

From 27 January 2013, the EPC Regulations 2012 and the Building Regulations 2010, required an EPC for a property to include information about any green deal plans. The amendments were made in accordance with the green deal disclosure obligations in the Energy Act 2011, s 12, and the Green Deal Framework Regulations, which require an EPC to be given to those people who will be responsible for making payments under a green deal plan.

What is the EPB Directive?

The EPB Directive was designed to increase the efficiency of buildings and reduce their carbon emissions. The recast EPB Directive came into force on 8 June 2010, with EU Member States required to complete implementation by 9 January 2013.

The key changes from 9 January 2013 include:

  1. property advertisements to include details of the EPC rating where available (the previous requirement for a copy of the first page of the EPC to be attached to the written particular of the advertisement has been removed)
  2. an EPC to be displayed in certain commercial premises that are frequently visited by the public (this is an entirely new requirement)
  3. an EPC to include a list of energy efficiency improvements that could be made as part of major works, as well as providing further information on implementing the recommendations (this is an entirely new requirement)
  4. Display Energy Certificates (DECs) in public buildings over 500m2 that are frequently visited by the public (previously DECs were only required in public buildings over 1000m2)

As well as the addition of new requirements, the Directive does alter or remove certain other provisions from the previous EPC regulations. Examples include the extension of the list of buildings exempt from EPC requirements and the removal of the requirement for an estate agent to attach an EPC to the written particulars of a property, although agents are still required to ensure that an EPC has been commissioned.

What commercial premises must now display an EPC?

An EPC must be displayed in a prominent place so as to be clearly visible to visiting members of the public in commercial buildings that are:

  1. over 500m2, and
  2. frequently visited by the public (ie where the public has an implied or express licence to enter the building and is regularly visited by members of the public.  There is specific DECC guidance on this classification.)

Issues may arise in establishing who is responsible for satisfying the duty in multi-let buildings, with the guidance stating that the ‘occupier’ of the building is responsible for the  commission and display the EPC. It seems logical for individual tenants to display their own valid EPC to prevent falling foul of this provision.

More detail is available on the Department of Energy and Climate Change Website at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-energy-climate-change

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