The Scottish Government has now
published new rules aimed at improving the energy efficiency
of commercial properties.
These draft regulations –
the Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-Domestic
Buildings (Scotland) – are scheduled to come into force on
September 1, this year.
The minimum energy
performance level – most likely an ‘’E’’ rating based on
current Energy Performance Certificate standards, follows
the English criteria. Commercial properties with an EPC
rating of ‘’F’’ or ‘’G’’ may require expensive energy
improvement works to meet the new minimum standard.
similar minimum energy efficiency standard is already coming
into operation in the remainder of the UK, through the 2018
Energy Act; the Scottish regime differs in a number of key
The Scottish regulations will apply to all
commercial property with a floor area greater than 1,000m2.
While detailed guidance on proposed exceptions is awaited,
only buildings already requiring an Energy Performance
Certificate are intended to be caught. A sale or grant of a
new lease on a qualifying property will trigger the need to
meet the new regulations, so the owner must provide a
prospective buyer/tenant with a formal action plan detailing
how the energy performance of the building can be improved
to meet the statutory minimum rating, the E grade.
Action plans, which bring another additional cost, can be
produced by a qualified member of an approved organisation,
and will assess greenhouse gas emissions and energy
performance. Works needed to improve the energy performance
of the property to the minimum standard must be identified
in the plan which, once agreed, will be added to a statutory
If improvement works are needed, the
owner has two options – to complete the upgrades within 42
months, or defer the works. In the interim, the owner must
keep an accurate record of the property’s energy consumption
via a Display Energy Certificate, which must be registered
annually, with a view to reducing the energy consumption of
the property concerned.
Responsibility rests with the
property owner. Failure to comply can result in a penalty
charge – responsibility for enforcement will lie with each
local authority in Scotland.
Older properties or those
with poor grades in EPC terms may require considerable
improvement works to meet the minimum energy efficiency
standard without any guarantee of payback - at least 40-50%
of existing building stock pre-dates the 1940s.
Detailed government guidance is anticipated in the coming
months, and a number of issues including the regulation’s
application to buildings with multiple occupiers, listed or
historic buildings require clarification.
owners of qualifying properties should take stock of the new
regime and seek early advice in advance of any anticipated
sale or lease. Early action such as having EPCs done now in
order to establish where the commercial property owner
stands would be a sensible approach, together with
budgeting. ACI Reports undertake EPCs in Scotland in
addition to our main throughput of Scottish TM44 Air
Conditioning Inspection, Read more>