The Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-Domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016

The Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-Domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016 introduced requirements on building owners for both the assessment, and the improvement, of the emissions and energy performance of non-domestic buildings with a floor area of more than 1,000 square metres that are not constructed to 2002 building standards or later. Property owners are required to assess their greenhouse gas emissions and energy performance and a plan to improve the energy performance of buildings and reduce emissions must be produced.

There are obligations on owners of certain Scottish properties to either:

  • carry out certain energy efficiency improvement works within 3½ years; or
  • accept an obligation annually to report energy consumption and to keep a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) exhibited at the property until efficiency measures have been implemented.

The regulations apply to any commercial building in Scotland with a floor area of more than 1000 square metres (or 10,764 sq ft) however the following exclusions are in place:

  • properties that comply with 2002 (or more recent) Scottish building regulations;
  • properties that have benefitted from energy improvements under a Green Deal plan;
  • temporary buildings intended for use for two years or less;
  • workshops, and
  • properties with low energy demand for example where there is no heat provision.

The property owner must obtain an EPC on sale or rental and undertake a further assessment to identify a target for improvement of the carbon and energy performance of the building. An action plan, set by an assessor, is required to detail the physical improvements required to the property to achieve the target. Once the plan is in place, the owner can choose to carry out improvements and has a period of 3½ years to do the physical work. Alternatively, work can be deferred by instead recording and reporting actual metered energy use via a DEC on an annual basis. Along with the EPC, the Action Plan must be made available to prospective buyers or tenants and the obligation will apply to the owner who commissioned the action plan and to future owners

Improvements can include any of the following:

  • installing draught stripping to doors and windows;
  • upgrading lighting controls;
  • upgrading heating controls, low energy lighting or installing insulation in an accessible roof space – if the payback period of the works is 7 years or less;
  • replacement of a boiler if more than 15 years old;
  • any other works, measures or steps to improve the energy performance or reduce emissions of greenhouse gases associated with the property.

The following are exempt from the requirements:

  • the renewal of a lease to an existing tenant;
  • the grant of a lease for 16 weeks or less where the property has not been let by the owner during the preceding 36 weeks;
  • the grant of a sub-lease;
  • a sale or lease of a property in the course of construction.

These regulations are triggered once a commercial property owner wishes to sell the property or grant a lease to a new tenant. Similar rules do not come into force in England and Wales until 1 April 2018 and will not apply to sales. Property owners in Scotland must now take account the requirements for energy efficiency measures when they sell or lease properties.

 

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