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Energy performance certificates (EPCs); how are your energy levels?

22 January 2008

Energy performance certificates (EPCs) are the new ‘must have’  – you must now have one if you are selling or renting residential properties.

It is not so well known, however, that commercial buildings are also affected. One of our commercial property lawyers has prepared a brief checklist to help owners and landlords get up to speed on the new requirements.

Timetable

If you are constructing, selling or renting non-domestic property, EPCs will be required as follows:

  • from April 08: for property with total useful floor area over 10,000 square metres.
  • from July 08: for property with total useful floor area over 2,500 square metres
  • from October 08: for all remaining non-domestic property.

And also ..

  • Sellers/landlords must provide a recommendation report issued by the energy assessor containing suggestions for the improvement of the energy performance of commercial buildings.
  • Certain buildings (those occupied by public authorities and institutions providing public services to large numbers of people) will be required to display a Display Energy Certificate. Occupiers must also obtain an advisory report containing recommendations for improving the energy performance of the building.
  • Obligations are also imposed on those who have control of air conditioning systems to ensure that they are inspected at least every five years by an energy assessor.
  • The life span of these certificates and advisory reports will be limited – currently 7-10 years for non-domestic property.  There are plans to set up a register and penalties for non-compliance – to be enforced by trading standards officers.

The regulations have been introduced as part of the government’s response to climate change; the construction sector being thought to account for about 40% of the EU’s total energy consumption and 50% of the UK’s total carbon emissions. Compliance is likely to be tricky at first because of a shortage of accredited assessors.

As always, if you need commercial and pragmatic legal advice, we’re here to help so please get in touch.

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Alasdair Garbutt LLB (Hons)
Partner
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Alasdair Garbutt
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