Changes to Energy Performance Regulations

Changes to Energy Performance Regulations

Published:

Author: Sophie Wilkinson

The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 came into force on 9 January 2013, replacing all previous energy performance regulations.

The Government has also issued revised guidance.

There have also been minor amendments to the 2012 revised regulations to align the energy performance legislation with the Green Deal.

Main changes

  • More buildings are exempt - protected and listed buildings are now exempt but only in certain circumstances. In addition, more religious buildings are exempt, some non-residential agricultural buildings may be exempt and short-term occupation has been confirmed as exempt.
  • Requirement to state the asset rating of the building in any advertisement for sale or rent - this replaces the previous requirement for a copy of the first page of an EPC to be attached to written particulars of any building available for sale or rent.
  • Requirement to display an EPC in non-residential buildings frequently visited by the public - this is a new obligation requiring non-dwellings with a total useful floor area of more than 500 square metres to display an EPC if they are frequently visited by the public and if an EPC has already been provided.
  • Fewer buildings may require a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) - DECs must now be displayed only where a building is occupied by a public authority frequently visited by the public. Previously, institutions which were not public authorities, but which were providing public services, were caught (provided they were frequently visited by the public).
  • Smaller buildings will require DECs - buildings with a total useful floor area of 500 square metres now need to display a DEC. Previously there had to be a total useful floor area of 1,000 square metres. Buildings with a total useful floor area of 250 square metres will need to display a DEC from 9 July 2015.
  • Improved defence for not providing EPC to a prospective purchaser/tenant - it is now a defence to fail to supply an EPC where there was no duty to commission an EPC before marketing and an EPC was requested as soon as possible after the duty to provide an EPC arose. Previously, an EPC had to be requested at least 14 days before the time it should have been supplied.

Comment

There are some questions and confusions that arise out of the 2012 regulations and revised guidance. These include:

  • the extent of the revised exemptions
  • whether EPCs are still needed on sale, rent and marketing of parts of buildings
  • what information will be entered on the EPC register
  • the extent to which certain obligations can be enforced (including the requirement to display EPCs in non-residential buildings and the requirement to state the asset rating of the building in any advertisement for sale or rent)

Shoosmiths is aware that these issues have been raised with the Government (along with others). Hopefully, clarification will be received in due course.