The EPC regulations have been changed today. The changes firmly point towards the Government trying to meet the bare minimum necessary under the EPBD Regulations rather than sincerely attempt to reduce carbon and energy waste.

Links to all relevant documents can be found at the end of this article.

The main changes are as follows:

  • The marketing particulars of agents need only include a statement of the EPC rating if space does not allow for an EPC graph.
  • All commercial property regularly visited by the public of 500sqm and over must publicly display their EPC if they have one. This includes, for example, retail units, leisure centres, theatres, cinemas. Indeed any commercial property where members of the public have a licence to enter. There is no requirement to acquire an EPC if one is not currently available.
  • Additionally, buildings of special architectural or historic merit, are now exempt from the EPC regulations, in so far as compliance would unacceptably alter their character or appearance. This is largely held to mean listed buildings.
  • Display Energy Certificates are now required for all public buildings of 500sqm and above. These are valid for 10 years for those public buildings of 500-1,000 sqm.

Many of these changes have been met with dismay by both the energy and the building industries. This week sees the launch of the Green for Growth campaign by Building Magazine. This is backed by both the CBI and UKGBC. Amongst other things they call for a more comprehensive roll out of Display Energy Certificates and an acknowledgment that energy efficiency policies are essential, not just for the construction industry, but the economy as a whole. The government’s policies have also been heavily criticised by Paul Morrell, the government’s previous chief construction adviser.

The original Government documents can be downloaded from the Government portal here.

For general background information on the commercial EPC, please see here.