Must Shops and Offices Now Go Green? - The New Energy Performance Regulations
Guy Walton, Property Lawyer, John Lewis Partnership plc, UK
The rather snappily entitled Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 ('Regulations') will effectively come into force on 6 April 2008.
The Regulations give effect to the implementation in England and Wales of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2002/91/EC). Principally, this Directive sets out the requirements for the production of energy performance certificates ('EPCs') when buildings are constructed, sold and/or let. One of the principal motives behind the Directive is an attempt to rationalise and standardise 'real estate products' across the EU to facilitate the ready understanding of equivalent products in other member states by investors and occupiers. The impact of the Regulations will be widespread. The Department for Communities and Local Government ('DCLG') has carried out an assessment of the likely financial impact of the introduction of the Regulations in England and Wales upon commercial real estate (excluding public buildings). This survey has concluded that 150,000 buildings will require EPCs in each year in the period 2008-2012. It further predicts that the initial costs of the introduction of EPCs for non-residential property in England and Wales (again, excluding public buildings) will be in the region of £148,000,000.
DCLG is of the opinion that 'non-dwellings' are responsible for nearly 20% of all energy consumed and carbon emissions in the UK today. This is obviously a significant proportion and this article will consider some of the practical and commercial effects the Regulations will have in England and Wales when they come into force.
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