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The RICS is putting increased emphasis on the importance of sustainability, and how the construction and property industry are intrinsically linked to the reduction of emissions and energy consumption. The ‘Energy Performance of Buildings Directive’ has been instrumental in raising awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency and attempts to reduce emissions from buildings. To reflect this directive, the UK Government amended part L of the Building Regulations and introduced the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations.
Under the 2008 Climate Change Act, the UK Government is legally bound to cut Carbon Dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050, in comparison to 1990 levels. In London the target is a 60% reduction by 2025.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations consists of five key provisions to help achieve the goals set by the 2008 Climate Change Act:
1. To increase the standards of energy conservation in new and refurbished buildings.
2. To create a way of calculating energy performance.
3. To set out minimum requirements of energy performance.
4. To ensure that there is energy certification for all buildings that are leased and sold.
5. To undertake the mandatory inspection of boilers and air conditioning systems.
Energy Performance Certificates play a key role in this, as they are used to display an energy performance rating (A+ to G) and present an estimate of energy running costs. An EPC is required on all buildings over 50 sqm when a building is sold or leased for longer than 6 months, if it is newly built or refurbished. Assuming that there are no alterations made to the building, this certification lasts for 10 years.
In March 2015, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEEs) came into play; this means that from 1st April 2018 it will be illegal for landlords to grant new commercial leases in the UK on buildings with an EPC rating of F or G, and from April 1st 2023 the same restriction will apply to all lettings.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants