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Take Action Now! Energy Performance Certificates legislation is changing

Published by James Jones-Tinsley on

EPCs indicate the energy efficiency of a building’s fabric, as well as its heating, ventilation, cooling and lighting systems. 

On the front of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) there is an ‘Energy Performance Asset Rating’ (EPAR), which is a combination of a letter (ranging from A to G) and a number (ranging from 0 to ‘over 150’). 

The higher the letter and number, the less energy efficient the building is.

The EPAR is compared to two benchmarks for the type of building: one appropriate for new buildings and one appropriate for existing buildings. 

It will soon be against the law to let out a property with an EPAR in the two lowest bands, F and G

The penalties for not complying with the legislation will range from a minimum penalty of £5,000 to a maximum penalty of £150,000.

The penalties for not complying with the legislation will range from a minimum penalty of £5,000 to a maximum penalty of £150,000.

The rules will apply to new lettings and lease renewals, (commercial or residential), in England and Wales from 1 April 2018 and to existing leases in England and Wales from April 2023, unless they fall within one of the exceptions under the legislation, (for example, the building is listed). 

It is estimated that almost one in five commercial properties are currently in the lowest two EPAR bands. 

As Barnett Waddingham alone has around 4,000 commercial properties within our SIPP and SSAS books of business, that suggests that around 800 properties will be affected - unless action is taken now.

The first step in correcting any issues is to first determine if you actually have any. 

The only way to find this out is to either review your existing EPC for accuracy, if its EPAR is F or G or, if the commercial building(s) within your SIPP or SSAS do not have an EPC - arrange to obtain an EPC now.

Every problem needs a solution.  Here’s ours.

To help you to obtain a new EPC, or to have an existing EPC reviewed, Barnett Waddingham have reached an agreement with GreenRock Energy Ltd to carry out and register EPCs for our SIPP and SSAS clients at a discounted rate, when requested via ourselves.

You are under no obligation to take advantage of this offer; however, GreenRock Energy are able to offer coverage throughout the UK and are very experienced in this field, having carried out more than 10,000 commercial energy assessments across the country.  In addition to this, we believe the price that they are offering for completing these reports is competitive. 

What if my property is based in Scotland?

The new minimum energy efficiency standards do not apply in Scotland, although EPCs do exist in Scotland with some relatively minor differences in how they operate.

Scotland now has its own regime, known as the ‘Section 63’ legislation, which was brought in under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, and has been in force since 1 September 2016.  It applies to commercial properties with a floor area of more than 1,000m2 and will be triggered by either its sale, or a lease to a new tenant. 

GreenRock Energy Limited can provide you with a Section 63 ‘Action Plan’, if you require one.

I need to take action.  What do I do?

Simply email either ssas.epc-request@barnett-waddingham.co.uk or sipp.epc-request@barnett-waddingham.co.uk and let us know if you need a new EPC, or require an existing EPC to be reviewed, together with the relevant property address(es). 

If you want to take things forward with GreenRock Energy Limited, via ourselves, we will then provide you with a fee estimate and the relevant form.

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About the author

  • James Jones-Tinsley

    James assists colleagues in both the SSAS and SIPP Practice Areas on a wide range of technical matters relating to the operation and governance of Barnett Waddingham’s self-invested pension arrangements.

    View Biography

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