An eternal delight?

In the words of William Blake ‘energy is an eternal delight’ and the Government certainly seems to concur as further energy efficiency measures within the Energy Act 2011 come into force, says commercial property agent Prop-Search.

From 6 April 2012 the law covering Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) will change.  From this date sellers and landlords will have to make sure that an EPC is either available or has been commissioned before a property is marketed for sale or to let.  A further change will require EPCs to be attached to the marketing particulars of all commercial or residential properties being sold or rented.  This requirement will however only extend to the first page of the EPC.

EPCs give information on how energy efficient a building is and contain recommendations on how to reduce that building’s energy use and carbon dioxide emissions.  An EPC consists of two pages, accompanied by four pages of recommendations.

Samantha Jones, a Surveyor at Prop-Search, says: “These legislative changes are designed to improve compliance with the law, although are not seen by all as ‘an eternal delight’, just more bureaucracy!”

“Where an EPC has been commissioned but is not yet available, the seller or landlord will now have to use all reasonable efforts to obtain the certificate within seven days of placing the property on the market.  However, they will have an additional 21 days in which to do so if they cannot obtain a certificate within the initial seven day period.”

Trading Standards Officers will also have new powers requiring a responsible person, acting on behalf of the seller or landlord, to produce evidence to show that an EPC has been commissioned where they are marketing a building without one.  This means that they will have to make sure that an EPC exists or has been commissioned before they start marketing the property.  There are fines/penalties for non-compliance.

The legislation also brings forth a new statutory requirement to lodge air conditioning inspection reports on a central non-domestic EPC Register.  Those who have control of air-conditioning systems (with a maximum calorific output of more than 12kW) must ensure that the system is inspected at least every five years by an energy assessor.  The energy assessor must provide a written report of the inspection as soon as practicable after the inspection.