With effect from 4th January 2009 an Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) must be provided by the building owner where a building is sold or let. It will apply, for example, to new leases of Church Halls or other Church property entered into on or after that date (it will not apply where an existing tenant simply renews an existing lease). Clergy do not occupy rectories on the basis of a lease but, if an otherwise vacant rectory were being let to produce income, the new legislation will apply to new tenancies entered into on or after 4th January 2009.
An EPC is a document indicating the energy efficiency of a building. They have been introduced as part of the UK’s obligation under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive to promote improvement in the energy performance of new and existing buildings.
An EPC will display an indication of current CO2 emissions, provide an indication of potential emissions on an annual basis and also the current energy consumption of the building and will list cost effective improvements. CO2 ratings are shown in bandings from A to G (A being the least polluting).
Where a building is to be sold or rented the building owner must make a copy of the EPC for the building available, free of charge, to the prospective buyer or tenant. It is the legal responsibility of the owner to affix the certificate to the building.
EPCs can be provided by members of a number of organisations and professional bodies with whom the Scottish Government has entered into protocols. Details of qualified and accredited members will be made available by the approved organisation or professional body. Details are available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/Building/Building-standards/profinfo/epcintro/epcguidadvice
The cost of obtaining an EPC will vary depending on the complexity of the building. It would be advisable to obtain a quotation from an accredited person before commissioning an EPC.
The EPC will list cost effective improvements. There is no obligation on the owner of the building to carry out such improvements but it is thought that the owner may wish to carry them out since they will reduce the generation of carbon emissions, save energy and may make the building more attractive to a prospective buyer or tenant.
An EPC will be valid for a period of ten years. If the owner wishes to sell or rent out the property after the ten year period, it will be necessary to update the EPC.
Sanctions for non-compliance with the legislation include the levying by the Local Authority of a penalty charge notice, the amount of which will depend on the nature of the building.
The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church does not accept responsibility for any loss or liability which may arise from reliance on information or expressions of opinion contained in this document.
General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church
Scottish Charity No SC015962