energy performance certificates

The Department for Communities and Legal Government ("DCLG") has announced the following changes to the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007:

-  an Energy Performance Certificate ("EPC") will be required for all buildings for sale or to rent;

-  it will be made clear that the production of the EPC cannot be delayed until the parties have entered into a sale contract or an agreement for lease.

These changes were due to be implemented from 1 July 2011, but this has been delayed until further notice.

The DCLG has also issued guidance on EPCs for holiday lets. An EPC is required for any holiday accommodation but mobile homes, caravans and park homes are exempt. With regard to holiday parks, if they are selling a holiday rather than letting a specific property, then an EPC will not be required.

Exempt properties include places of worship, temporary buildings, industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with a low energy demand and stand-alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2 which are not dwellings.

The penalty for non-compliance is £200 or 12.5% of the business rates for commercial buildings.