Certificates could be among Brexit casulties

Continuing with the compulsory use of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) may be a casualty of Brexit. The A to G measurement of the energy efficiency of a building was introduced in 2006 in compliance with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

Whenever a building changes occupancy - either via sale or rental - a current certificate is supposed to be produced. All estate agent advertising and particulars are required to include details.

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that, following adoption of her Great Repeal Bill abolishing the 1972 European Communities Act, practically all measures adopted into UK law subsequently will automatically remain in force. However, Brexit Secretary David Davis (right) has crucially warned that there will be “powers for ministers to make some changes by secondary legislation” – in other words, without the need for any new Act of Parliament

 Most critically, his colleague, Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom has signalled that there will be many changes to existing requirements within her remit when the UK leaves the EU. Giving evidence on Brexit to the powerful House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, Leadsom deliberately emphasised that “up to one third” of EU-environmentrelated laws would not be incorporated into national law.

Critically, the EPBD was introduced under European environmental Articles, and negotiated in detail by officials from Leadsom’s department. Among its key consumer provisions has been the need to create and then implement EPCs.

However, up to now there has been little or no attempt by UK governments to ensure that EPCs are actually made available to prospective new occupants. This is particularly true where tenancies are concerned. EPCs have only been issued to less than half of eligible commercial tenants, and just 1 in 4 residential tenants.

There is no record of any prosecutions being mounted anywhere in the UK regarding noncompliance with EPC requirements.

Under the 2011 Energy Act, the then Coalition government undertook that from April 2018, landlords would no longer be permitted to let out any building with an F or G EPC rating. However landlords’ organisations have been consistently lobbying subsequently against the introduction of this requirement.

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EPCs are here to stay

Philip Salaman | 15/11/2016
Regardless of when the UK leaves the EU, the EPC legislation will remain as it is. Andrea Leadsom is DEFRA Secretary, and hence has nothing to do with the EPBD regulations which are part of DCLG. Even if DCLG did want to get rid of EPCs, it would

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