On 1 October 2012, regulations amending the Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (the 2008 Regulations
) will come into force. These amendment regulations are being introduced to implement provisions of Directive 2010/31/EU (the Directive
) on the energy performance of buildings and will result in changes to the regime applicable to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs
Changes being introduced
From 1 October 2012:
From 9 January 2013:
The Scottish Ministers are also required to approve a methodology of calculation of the energy performance of buildings based on the framework set out in the Directive although no timescale is provided for this.
There are other issues which are notable for their absence in the amendment regulations. Perhaps most notably, there is no requirement to implement the steps set out in the recommendations report. We also understand that there no imminent plans to introduce regulations under section 63 or 64 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 requiring owners to take steps, identified by energy performance assessments, to improve energy performance, or under section 55 or 61 of the Energy Act 2011 requiring landlords to make energy efficiency improvements to a property before that property can be let.
Regulations under the provisions mentioned above would give more force to the recommendations report but the Scottish Ministers are understandably reluctant to over-burden property owners in the current market.
There are still plans to introduce regulations under section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, as highlighted in our January edition of Public Aye, although it is likely to be some point next year before they are introduced. The proposals in their current form will require an EPC, recommendations report and action plan to be exhibited to the purchaser or tenant on a sale, lease or lease renewal for a non-domestic property. It will be interesting to see whether the proposals will be amended to include an exception to this requirement, similar to the one in the amended 2008 Regulations, where there is a renewal of an existing lease with the same tenant.
It is intended that the measures in the action plan will be optional but if improvement works are not undertaken there will be an option to measure, report and display an operational rating. Full mandatory implementation is likely to be included at some point in the future, although there are no timescales as yet.
Exemptions from the section 63 regulations are expected for owners participating in the Green Deal and for buildings which are constructed to 2002 or later building standards, or can demonstrate equivalence with 2002 energy standards.
With additional requirements relating to the energy performance of buildings likely to be introduced in a phased manner, the amendments to the 2008 Regulations are only likely to be the latest in what will be a steady stream of energy performance legislation in the forthcoming years.