EPC’s Get Tough

FThe United Kingdom’s property industry is bracing itself for the introduction of changes to the European Union’s Energy Performance in Building Directive (EPBD).

This far-reaching and highly influential mandate has been the backbone behind Europe’s efforts to improve energy efficiency within member states and it has formed the basis for many pieces of UK legislation to support this process.

The pending changes relate to the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) which were themselves imposed under earlier editions of the EPBD. Most parties will be aware that buildings are now graded in bands from A-G representing their respective energy performance in a similar manner to the established scheme that has been used for domestic kitchen appliances for a number of years. Up until now this grading for buildings has been a simple passive mechanism to offer a means of comparison between buildings however that is about to change.

In general and as from April 2018 Landlord’s will be unable to offer accommodation with an EPC Rating of F-G for either sale or for rent. Although there are various temporary concessions and mechanisms for evaluation this will apply to all nondomestic buildings with an area greater than 500m2.

The Government has also taken a far stricter line on compliance with the EPBD and consequently fines of up to £150,000 will be imposed on Landlord’s who fail to meet with these requirements. This is quite a sobering thought as current estimates suggest that F-G rated properties may form up to 35% of the existing non-domestic property portfolio. Over the next few years it is likely that there will be a glut of remedial projects, some more successful than others as Landlord’s desperately seek to improve the energy performance of their stock. Those Landlord’s taking a long term pro-active measured approach are likely to be more successful.

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