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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Energy Performance Certificates – DCLG Shines a Light on New Rules

The new rules governing the provision of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) came into effect on 6 April 2012.


Click on the link if you missed it first time round or want a refresher.


The document also contains a useful further summary of the new rules.

In response to requests from property agents, DCLG and the EPC register operator (Landmark Information Group) are implementing a process which will:-

·         Provide a standard service to enable the EPC to be retrieved from the register and attached to online written property particulars and;

·         Provide an enhanced service where there are confidentiality issues surrounding commercial property transactions, to enable the EPC to be retrieved from the register and attached to online written property particulars with the address removed.

Property agents can request further information about the service from the DCLG at epc.enquiry@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

The requirement for the statutory lodgement of reports on the central EPC register will extend to air conditioning reports.

See the full list of questions and answers for more information, but the following may be particularly useful:

Q. Can 'first day marketing' occur if the EPC is not available?

A. There is nothing in the amended provisions which would prevent 'first day marketing' within the first 7 days if an EPC has not been made available. The amended provisions require that an EPC is commissioned before the building is marketed. An EPC is not required to be available before or at the point that a property is marketed.

Q. How can an estate agent be sure that the relevant person has commissioned an EPC?

A. Agents will have to satisfy themselves that an EPC is either available or has been commissioned before they start marketing on behalf of the seller or landlord. Trading Standards Officers can ask for evidence of this.

Q. What happens after 28 days if the EPC is still unavailable?

A. If the building is still on the market after 28 days, Trading Standards Officers may choose to serve a penalty notice.

Q. Does the whole EPC have to be attached to the written property particulars?

A. No, only a copy of the first page.

Q. Can the EPC be re-sized if the written particulars are produced in A5 format?

A. The EPC can be reproduced in a smaller size provided it is still legible and meets any other legal obligations, such as the Equality Act 2010

Q. Does the copy EPC have to be in colour?

A. No, a black and white copy is acceptable.

Q. Do the regulations also apply to electronic written particulars on internet sites?

A. Yes. The national EPC register operator has provided a technical solution which will enable property agents to retrieve the EPC from the register and attach it to online written particulars. This service has been provided at the request of property agents. More detailed information for property agents is available on request at: epc.enquiry@communities.gsi.gov.uk. (There is more detail in the Q & A document on this).

Q. Do the regulations apply to all property adverts?

A. No. Only the more detailed descriptions (referred to as written particulars) produced for potential buyers or tenants as defined by the regulations. In essence this is where an agent proposes to provide written particulars to a person (i.e. a specific individual) who may be interested in buying or renting the building.

Q. Are auction catalogues captured by the new requirements?

A. If the details in the auction catalogue meet the definition of written particulars, as defined in the new Regulations, then an EPC will need to be included with the details of those buildings. The option of including an energy efficiency rating only will no longer apply.

There are many more Q & As on the DCLG document, which should assist with most issues, although I'm sure those working in the EPC industry will have thought of others. Do let me know.

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