Local authorities ‘making mockery’ of EU energy efficiency regulations

Hundreds of local authorities across the UK could be in breach of the European energy efficiency regulations and as a result are potentially ignoring the opportunity to reduce the fuel bills of their public buildings, according to the Property and Energy Professionals Association (PEPA).

PEPA has this week sent out letters to the chief executive of every local authority in England and Wales asking them to provide evidence of how they are meeting these regulations. 

The trade body is concerned that many authorities are not meeting the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and do not have valid or up to date Display Energy Certificate (DECs) on their buildings.

The letters request that each local authority provides details of all buildings in their region which currently do not comply.

Since 2007 all local authorities have been required to ensure that the relevant public buildings in their region, comply with the EPBD.

PEPA chairman Stephen O’Hara said: “According to David Cameron, this is meant to be the greenest Government ever, but it seems that by and large, local authorities are making a mockery of this claim.

“We are now taking action to understand how many local authorities are flaunting the law, by issuing a request under the Freedom of Information (FOI) act to all local authorities, asking them to provide details of those buildings in their regions, which do not currently comply with the EPBD regulations.

The European Directive states that DECs, which detail a building’s energy consumption, should be on display in public buildings over 1,000 square meters. From January this year this requirement has been extended to buildings of greater than 500 square metres.

O’Hara added: “Where used effectively DECs can prove an excellent tool in helping the occupants of public buildings to understand its energy consumption and the ways in which they can reduce this – helping them to save energy and to reduce fuel bills – fuel bills which are ultimately paid for with public money.

“It is clear that many authorities are not complying with the EPBD regulations that require DECs to be in place and that the Trading Standards Officers, which are part of those same authorities, are not discharging their legal responsibilities to ensure compliance with the law,” he said.

Conor McGlone

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