The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2002/91/EC was fully implemented in England and Wales In 2008. On 30th May 2018, the European Parliament agreed amendments to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive which are required to be transposed into national law. As the UK as left the EU, at the end of the transition period, the UK will not longer be required to submit reports and therefore no longer required to maintain legislation to facilitate this.
The amended Directive increases the inspection threshold for heating and air conditioning systems with an effective rated output of over 20kW to those with an effective rated output of over 70kW and widens the scope to include combined heating and ventilation systems as it was felt that the inspections did not ensure continued performance of the system and were difficult to implement. The purpose of the inspection is to identify systems that re not performing efficiently.
For air conditioning systems, currently systems in scope must lodge an Air-Conditioning Inspection Report on the Energy Performance of Buildings Register (EPB Register) at regular intervals not exceeding five years. This requirement is mandatory requirement in the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, No. 3118. England and Wales intend to maintain this approach. Establishing an Alternative Measures (air conditioning) approach would require a set of measures acceptable to the European Commission as providing carbon savings equal to or exceeding the savings to be achieved by an inspection regime, supported by a database of properties in scope and a surveillance programme. There would also be costs associated with creating and running an advice programme as part of this approach. This would be substantially more than the existing inspection process which costs an estimated £6.5m.
The increase in threshold would potentially enable more targeted enforcement of the requirements as well as facilitating an increased focus on the systems with the greatest potential for energy efficiency gains. On the downside, the environmental impact of no longer requiring regular inspections will mean buildings running inefficient systems and opportunities to reduce carbon emissions will be missed.
One of the major sticking points in proposing such changes is the lack of clarity in how many systems are captured by the current and proposed bands. Several assumptions have been applied to the impact assessment relating to this consultation but without better understanding of the systems in the building stock in England and Wales, any proposed changes may not deliver the intended outcomes.
The government is seeking views on whether you agree or disagree with the proposal increase the threshold to 70kW and the reasons for your view. In addition, the consultation asks for details of systems in the buildings you manage so a more accurate assessment of the proposals outlined.
The consultation closes on 14th July 2020. To have your say, please email the compliance team at firstname.lastname@example.org or to discuss this further please call Melanie Kendall-Reid on 01252 87 87 22.