Robin Davie, Blair Cadell Property Manager, summarises the recent changes made to the Energy Performance Certificate Regulations

EPC.jpgEPC's were introduced under European legislation in January 2009 requiring homeowners (as well as businesses) marketing property for sale or lease to make an certificate freely available to any potential purchasers or tenants

The EPC gives an illustration of the energy efficiency of a property based on a rating scale from A - G (with A being the most energy efficient). EPCs are now an integral part of the marketing process and must be obtained prior to commencement of sale. EPCs are, in most instances, prepared by professional surveyors and make up part of the Home Report

EPCs can also be produced by "Approved Organisations", members authorised by the Scottish Government. In order to be valid, an EPC must be lodged on the Scottish Government database (so they can be replaced if lost) and are valid for 10 years

Changes to the EPC introduced in 2012 require:

  • that a hard copy must be provided if requested by prospective buyers or tenants, free of charge
  • in addition to providing the energy rating, all EPCs must now contain recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of the property and detail the steps that would require to be taken in order to implement those recommendations
  • an EPC must now be produced when a unit within a larger building is for sale (or lease)
  • homeowners marketing a property for sale (or lease) must include EPC information in all advertisements - from newspaper advertisements to sale particulars and any advertisement that appears online
  • EPCs now require to be displayed in a prominent place and be clearly visible in buildings "frequently visited by the public"
  • penalties for failure to comply with the new regulations have been increased from £500 to £1000
  • Local Authorities can issue enforcement notices and penalty charges to homeowners