Changes to Energy Performance Certificates
Further changes have been made to the rules relating to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and Display Energy Certificates (DECs). The changes took effect from 9 January 2013 and include:
Displaying an EPC
It is now a requirement to display an EPC in certain commercial buildings regardless of who is in occupation. However, it only applies where the building in question has a useful floor area of over 500m2 and is 'frequently visited by the public'. Although not a defined term, 'frequently visited by the public' is likely to mean that shops, restaurants and hotels will fall within the requirement, if they are of the relevant size, but not offices and factories.
The good news is that businesses are not required to commission an EPC solely for this purpose and an EPC will only have to be displayed once one has been issued.
It is no longer necessary to attach a copy of page 1 of an EPC to written sales particulars for buildings offered for sale or let after 9 January 2013. The requirement is now only to state the asset rating of the building. The asset rating is shown on the EPC itself.
Extension to the categories of exempt buildings
Exempt Buildings do not require an EPC when being marketed/sold/let. Now it is clear that small stand-alone buildings (less than 50m2 useful floor area) are exempt, even if they are residential, some holiday lets are now confirmed as exempt and more religious buildings are exempt.
Obtaining and displaying a DEC
The rules as to when to obtain and display a DEC have changed but there is unlikely to be much of a practical effect.
- over 500m2;
- which are occupied by Public Authorities; and
- are "frequently" used by the public;
will require a DEC.
From 9 July 2015 the measurement for useful floor area will reduce to 250m2.
Given the number of changes to the regime governing EPCs and DECs since its introduction, there are likely to be further changes and therefore this is an area to keep an eye on.
For further information on this or any other property matter please contact Chris Crystal on 01482 337256, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.