Government Departments: Energy

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 20th January 2010.

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Photo of Don Foster Don Foster Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment he has made of the level of compliance with the requirement to provide energy performance certificates in respect of the sale of buildings in the commercial property sector; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of John Healey John Healey The Minister for Housing

The 29 March 2007 "Regulatory Impact Assessment Energy Performance of Buildings Directive Articles 7-10" estimated that there was likely to be a need for approximately 216,000 non-domestic EPCs to be prepared per annum following the coming into force of the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/991).

Up to and including 13 January 2010, the latest date for which figures are available, the total number of non-domestic EPCs that has been prepared since the regulations came into force in relation to non-domestic buildings in April 2008 is 141,339.

We recognise that non-compliance is a cause for concern in the non-domestic sector, although these requirements were only extended to include all non-domestic buildings from October 2008. From April 2008, only buildings with a total floor area greater than 10,000 square metres required an EPC and from July 2008 only those with a total floor area greater than 2,500 square metres. It is also important to note that the estimates included in the impact assessment pre-dated the economic downturn, which is likely to have had a negative impact on demand.

The regulations stipulate that local weights and measures authorities are responsible for enforcement. We have taken a number of steps to assist them in this task, including providing advice and guidance to trading standards officers (TSOs) about what is required and who is responsible, and providing them with full access to the EPC Register for enforcement purposes.

We are also considering what more might be done through the regulations themselves in order to clarify when the need for an EPC for non-domestic buildings is triggered and whether to bring forward elements of the recast of the EPBD once it has been adopted by the European Union to make it easier for TSOs to identify the person responsible for making that an EPC is made available to prospective buyers and tenants can more readily be identified and targeted for enforcement action.

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