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EPBD comes into force amid last minute changes and a lack of preparedness

02 April 2008

Late revisions to the Energy Performance Certificate scheme added to the confusion and lack of preparedness in the FM and property community as a survey reveals. Meanwhile in Scotland the Scottish BRE and and Building Standards Agency agree on protocol for issuing EPCs.

From the 6 April 2008 an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will be required on the construction, sale or rent of non-dwelling buildings over 10,000 sq m (107,639 sq ft) floor area. However, on the 13 March, the Government announced revised transitional arrangements for buildings already on the market at 6 April.
Any building which is on the market before then and remains on the market afterwards will need an EPC by 1 October at the latest. But, if the building is sold or let in the meantime, an EPC must be commissioned and handed over as soon as reasonably practicable. Similar provisions will apply for the introduction of EPCs on buildings over 2,500 sq m (26,910 sq ft) due for implementation 1 July 2008.

At the moment the remaining stages of implementation remain unaltered. These being:
1 October 2008 - EPCs required on the construction, sale or rent of all remaining buildings.
1 October 2008 - Display Energy Certificates (DECs) to be produced and displayed in all public buildings over 1,000sq m.
January 2009 – Phased introduction if inspection of air conditioning systems - starting with those over 250kW.
Environmental consutlants, EMS, suggests that even if you don't need an EPC or DEC immediately, you should act now to ensure you can meet the due dates. Also you should consider an energy review to help reduce energy costs and improve your environmental performance.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive states that by January 2009 all countries within the European Union have to put in place systems to allow assessors to produce Energy Performance Certificates for all buildings, both domestic and non-domestic, when either constructed, rented or sold. The approach has been implemented as part of a European drive towards reducing the energy consumption in buildings. The certificates will rate the energy efficiency of the buildings on a scale of A (very efficient) to G (very inefficient). The EPC carries recommendations on how the buildings’ energy performance of buildings can be improved.

More than half of developers, landlords and occupiers will not be prepared for the introduction of Building Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) when their requirement becomes law on 6th April 2008, according to a survey conducted in March 2008 by building and project consultants CNP. The survey, conducted at a number of regional EPC road shows organised by CNP in conjunction with DLA Piper, and covering key UK locations, reveals that 51% of respondents believe they are not yet prepared for the introduction of EPCs; 44% are only part-prepared, and only 5% said they were fully prepared.

The survey also revealed that few respondents currently believe the introduction of EPCs will have an impact on the commercial property market in the short term, although a large number (42%) do acknowledge that poorly performing buildings will become harder to market in the long term. Of those surveyed, 49% believe that nothing will change in the commercial property market in the short term as a result of the introduction of EPCs; 33% believe EPCs will provide no benefit at all.

A ‘Need-to-Know’ guide to EPCs has been produced by CNP and is available by emailing or

The Scottish Building Standards Agency (SBSA) has entered into a protocol with BRE Scotland for the issue of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for existing buildings in Scotland. It means that EPCs can only be issued for existing buildings (domestic and non-domestic) under the new BRE scheme.

The requirements to become a member of the scheme are as follows:
To have the required professional criteria for membership.
To abide by the scheme’s Code of Conduct.
To abide by the scheme’s Disciplinary Procedures.
To have details published on our register of EPC scheme members (existing buildings).

Training will be provided for scheme members in the following:
The use of the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) calculation tool for non-domestic buildings; Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP) for domestic buildings.
Energy efficient designs.
Energy audit survey techniques.

To register your interest in joining the scheme go to or contact Laura Birrell at BRE Scotland: 01355 576200

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