New EPC Display Requirements Take Effect

The new Energy Performance Certificate display requirements have taken effect this week. As of 9 January 2013, commercial properties in England and Wales which currently have an Energy Performance Certificate will be required to put them on public display.

As part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations, this new ruling will help prospective buyers and tenants realise the energy efficiency of a building. The ruling will apply to all non-dwellings over 500 square metres in size which are visited regularly by the public.

Furthermore, the regulations also apply to buildings occupied by a public authority and are frequently visited by the public. Previously the requirement was only enforced for public buildings that had a footprint of over 1,000 square metres to show a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) but now applies to all those 500 square metres in area and above. There will be further developments in 2015 wherein the regulations will be extended to buildings larger than 250 square metres.

Further changes will mean that the details of the EPC rating will have to be included on all property advertisements.

Environmental law expert Linda Fletcher explained the implications of these regulation changes:

“What is interesting about this new requirement, which implements the changes in the recast EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, is that it relates to non-public authority buildings, which of course already have a requirement to display a DEC if they are frequently visited by the public, this new regulation will capture businesses such as shops, cinemas, restaurants and hotels.”

She continued: “However, the drafting of the regulation opens up many questions such as what is meant by ‘frequently visited’ and who is obliged to display the EPC – should it be the building owner or the occupier? It does not go as far as some had wanted however in requiring all commercial buildings over a certain size to be obligated to commission and display a DEC rather than the continued use of EPCs, which still do not give information as to how a building is actually performing as opposed to as built/designed.”

Qualified building surveyors can determine the energy efficiency of a property using an Energy Performance Certificate. The EPC is created with the aid of state-of-the-art technologies and can help the property owner understand their property’s energy efficiency. Furthermore, the EPC can demonstrate where the property owner can save money of energy costs.

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