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The impact of EPC requirements

Energy Performance Section 63 Update


An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates the energy efficiency of a building using a scale from A to G (with A being the most energy efficient).

In Scotland, practically all commercial property that is sold or leased must have a valid EPC prepared by a suitably qualified and accredited assessor prior to the property being marketed.

An EPC is normally valid for a period of 10 years.

New legislation under Section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 came into force in September 2016. Non-domestic buildings, or units within buildings, with a conditioned floor area over 1,000sq.m. now must undergo an assessment of carbon and energy performance, the outcome of which will be a three part report comprising:

  1. an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  2. a Recommendations Report
  3. an Action Plan for the building outlining targets and proposed improvements

The assessment will be carried out in a similar way to the current EPC regime and by accredited professionals, however the recommendations become mandatory.

The triggers for the requirement to undertake the assessment will be sale of the property or rental to a new tenant. Lease renewal to an existing tenant will not to be a trigger for assessment.

The Recommendations Report will detail physical measures which can be taken to improve the energy efficiency of the building. It will also detail the Operational Ratings on energy performance and carbon emissions which are to be recorded and presented annually.

The Action Plan details the timescale for implementing the Recommendations Report. The building owner will then have the option of whether to carry out the improvement works within the specified timetable of three and a half years or defer and implement a policy of monitoring, recording and reporting the operational ratings of the building within one year. This involves;

  1. Record actual metered energy use annually and display a DEC (Display Energy Certificate). This is similar to an EPC but shows actual energy consumption rather than a notional energy performance rating.
  2. Report actual metered energy use annually to the Scottish EPC Register.

It is important to stress that it is the owner solely who is liable for compliance and any enforcement measures by the local authority will be against them.

For more information on EPCs contact Mark Friars.