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New Government Guidance on Energy Performance CertificatesMarch 2008

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) was issued by the EU in 2002, and the 29 member states are at various stages in implementing it. In England & Wales, the first few articles of the Directive were implemented in April 2006 when Part L of the Building Regulations was updated. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for dwellings were introduced in 2007, and the government has issued a timetable for implementing the remaining articles in England and Wales (see table).

With the deadline looming for the introduction of EPCs on construction, sale or rent of non-dwellings, the industry is still asking questions about how these certificates will be produced, and who will be qualified to produce them.

The good news is that most of these questions are answered by a new publication from department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) entitled "Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings: A guide to energy performance certificates for the construction, sale and let of non-dwellings". This can be downloaded from the CLG web site.

Amongst other information, this publication tells you:

  • what is contained in an EPC
  • how EPCs are stored on a national registerhow EPCs are produced for buildings with separate tenancies
  • which buildings don't require EPCs e.g. places of worship
  • what an energy assessment involves
  • information on the level of training required to become an energy assessor
  • the names of the ten organisations approved to operate accreditation schemes. Assessors must be registered with of one of these schemes to produce EPCs.

In February 2008, the first approved software for producing EPCs was issued. It is an update of the SBEM software used for compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations, and it can be downloaded for free from the [link= caption=National Calculation Method web site]. Other approved software packages are becoming available, but they won't be free.

Now that the software is out there, and accreditation schemes are set up, the first accredited assessors will be ready to produce the first EPCs just in time for 6th April. As it takes a long time to get trained up as an assessor from scratch, the first assessments will be done by experienced practitioners who followed the Approved Prior Experience and Learning (APEL) route. BSRIA team is qualified for SBEM calculations and issuing EPCs.

What the CLG publication doesn't give at the moment is information on the Display Energy Certificates, which all public buildings over 1,000m2 will have to display from October 2008, or on the mandatory air conditioning inspections which are being introduced from January 2009. We'll keep you posted!

For more information contact BSRIA:

Tel: +44 (0) 1344 465600
or email

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