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Decision to delay total EPCs introduction slammed

The decision last week to introduce transitional arrangements for Energy Performance Certificates has been condemned as an admission of a lack of assessors and awareness.

The Communities and Local Government's decision to push back the obligation to possess EPCs for commercial buildings from 1 October 2008 to 4 January 2009 was slated by Envos, the environmental consultancy, as a threat to energy efficiency.

Envos said that much more needed to be done to educate building owners about their responsibilities.

The new CLG transitional arrangement means that, rather than 1 October, a commercial property needs an EPC by the date that the building is sold or rented, or by 4 January 2009, whichever is sooner.

Envos managing director Wade Barker said: “This decision is not unexpected given the small number of assessors that are currently fully trained.

"Equally there are still far too many commercial property owners who are unaware of what an EPC is and how they get one, and while there are a few providers like ourselves who have fully trained assessors over the country as a whole there certainly aren’t enough to assess every building before it is marketed and sold by 1 October.

“It is critical that the Government helps to get assessors trained now and gets information to commercial property owners about their responsibilities under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

"Unless this happens then we are not going to be able to get on with the important business of making commercial properties more energy-efficient and reducing the carbon footprint of our buildings. Many property owners could unwittingly find they are breaking the law by failing to get an EPC.”