The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published updated guidance on 11th December 2017 in relation to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
In particular this updated guidance relates to EPCs for the marketing, sale and let of residential dwellings as well as EPCs for the construction, sale and let of non-dwellings.
The main change to the guidance clarifies the position on whether listed buildings or buildings within a conservation area can be classed as exempt from the requirements of Energy Performance Certificates when it comes to the sale or letting of the property.
Regulation 5(1)(a) of the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (2012/3118) provides that buildings which are protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historical merit are exempt from the requirements to have an EPC, insofar as compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance.
The new guidance makes it clear that buildings which are protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historical merit can include listed buildings and buildings within a conservation area. Therefore it is possible that non-listed buildings in a conservation area could now fall within this exemption whereas the previous version of the Dwellings Guidance had cast doubt on this.
The phrase “insofar as compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance” has also led to considerable uncertainty. The guidance explains that, in the majority of historic buildings, many of the recommendations stated in an EPC report to comply with minimum energy performance requirements (e.g. double glazing, new doors and windows, external wall insulation, and external boiler flues) are likely to result in unacceptable alterations for these particular properties.
However, building owners themselves will need to take a view as to whether the character or appearance of their particular building would be unacceptably altered by any works necessary to comply with minimum energy performance requirements. If there is any doubt about this, building owners may wish to seek the advice of their Local Authority’s Conservation Officer who can offer further direction.
To read the updated guidance, please use the following links:
- Energy Performance Certificates for the marketing, sale and let of dwellings
- Energy Performance Certificates for the construction, sale and let of non-dwellings.