Second phase of energy ratings scheme comes into force

Commercial buildings and new homes have become the latest buildings to fall under the Government's energy performance certificate scheme.

The next stage in the roll out of the scheme - which aims to improve energy efficiency in UK buildings - came into effect on April 6.

All commercial properties being built or put up for rent or sale which have a floor area over 10,000 square metres will now require a certificate rating their energy efficiency and recommending improvements.

The Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) now also apply to the construction of all new homes.

The first certificates were introduced last year to existing homes being put on the market as part of the Home Information Pack.

By October, all buildings will be affected by the changes.

Communities Minister Iain Wright called on the business community to work with Government to save 40m tonnes of carbon by 2020.

"Most people to do not realise that our buildings account for around half of CO2 emissions in the UK - more than twice that of cars and planes," he said.

"Effective partnership is the way we can all make this work. As Government, we have set a clear direction but we need industry to respond and help us to deliver change that is needed."

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, backed the scheme.

"EPCs are a crucial weapon in the fight against climate change," he said.

"They are the bulding blocks on which to make progress in tackling emissions from our existing homes and buildings."

EPCs are part of the EU's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which all member states must adopt by January 2009.

More information can be found here.

Kate Martin



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