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The Legislation and The Facts

The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations (NI) 2008 came into operation on 30 June 2008. These regulations require an Energy Performance Certificate in the following instances:

Dwellings

All dwellings offered for sale on or after 30 June 2008 All new dwellings completed on or after 30 September 2008 All dwellings offered for rental on or after 30 December 2008

Buildings other than dwellings (*subject to the exemptions noted below) Buildings other than dwellings offered for sale on or after 30 December 2008 Buildings other than dwellings completed on or after 30 September 2008 Buildings other than dwellings offered for rental on or after 30 December 2008

The only exemptions to having to produce an energy performance certificate for a building other than a dwelling are: (a) buildings that are used primarily or solely as places of worship (b) temporary buildings with a planned time of use of 2 years or less (c) industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand (d) stand-alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2 that are nor dwellings

EPC's are not required on a sale for buildings due to be demolished.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An 'energy performance certificate' means a certificate that complies with Regulation 8 of The Energy Performance of Buildgins (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations (NI) 2008 and is an energy rating of the building. The rating can range from 'A' (very efficient) to 'G' (the least efficient). The better the rating the more efficient the building is and, consequently, the lower the fuel bills are likely to be.

Who is responsibile for providing an EPC?

When a new building is complete it is the responsibility of the person carrying out the construction to give and EPC and recommendation report to the building owner. They must also provde a copy of the EPC to Building Control, within 5 days of completion, where required to do so under The Building Regulations (NI) 2000 (as amended).

As soon as a building is in the process of being offered for sale it is the responsibility of the seller to make available an EPC to prospective buyers.

As soon as a building in the process of being offered for rental it is the responsibility of the prospective landlord to make available an EPC to prospective tenants.



Energy Performance on building (Certificates and Inspection) Regulation (Northern Ireland) 2009
 
Amendments to the above legislation identity changes which will directly affect you as an agent marketing property for sale or rent.
 
The amendment will make it a legal requirement from the 9th Jan 2013 for estate agents (or anyone marketing a property for sale or rent) to display the A-9 EPC graph on each brochure for all properties in their portfolio. In circumstances when the size and type of advertisement would render this impractical, a combination of the letter and numeric rating must be used instead e.g. EPC F36
 
It will be the responsibility of the person marketing the property to ensure that the energy performance indictor is included in the commercial media for a building. Failure to do so may result in the formal enforcement procedures which may lead to a penalty notice fine being issued to those marketing a property for sale or rent.
 
This will apply to properties currently on the market when the legislation becomes operational for any properties that do not have an EPC you may wish to advise the property owner / landlord of the impending amendments.

Who can produce an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate must be produced by an accredited energy assessor. An energy assessor must be a member of an accreditation scheme approved by the Department of Finance and Personnel.

What will the energy assessor do?

The energy assessor will be competent to use the appropriate software (such as SAP and SBEM) to produce the EPC. He/She has a duty of care to carry out an energy assessment of a building with reasonable care and skill. If there are no up-to-date plans of the building the energy assessor will need to carry out a survey and collect the required information. A range of matters are considered including, for example, the insulation standards of the fabric of the building, glazing, heating and lighting etc.

All EPC's must be accompanied by a 'recommendation report' setting out cost-efficient measures that could be taken to improve the energy performance of the building. The building owner is not obliged to implement the recommendations in the report however this information will help owners and occupiers to improve the energy efficiency of the building if they so desire.

The EPC must be registered in a national register where it will be given a unique reference number and retained for a period of 20 years. An EPC has a maximum life-span of 10 years.

Enforcement

The enforcement authority for these regulations is the Department of Finance and Personnel; or, as regards any local government district designated by the Department, a person authorised in writing by the Department.

An authorised officer of an enforcement authority may, if he believes that a person has commited a breach of any duty under these regulations, give a penalty charge to that person.
A person who receives a penalty charge notice can request the enforcement authority to review that notice. If after a review the penalty charge notice is confirmed by the enforcement authority the recipient may appeal to the county court.

The regulations specify the penalty amount applicable in relation to a breach of duty under the various regulations. For example the penalty amount for failing to provide and EPC in respect of a dwelling, in circumstances where this is required, is £200.

Accreditations

Association of Residential Letting Agents ARLA National Association of Estate Agents NAEA Stroma Certified Energy Assessor Elmhurst Accredited Energy Assessor The Association of Professional Inventory Providers
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