An amendment to the Energy Management Act regulating Energy Performance Certificates (“EPC”) has recently been passed. An EPC is a document evaluating the energy performance of a building.
Currently, there is a duty to issue an EPC only in relation to (i) the construction of new buildings, (ii) substantial reconstruction of completed buildings, (iii) the sale of the comprehensive part of a building or the whole building, or (iv) the lease of a whole building.
As of January 2016, property owners will be required to issue an EPC in relation to the lease of a comprehensive part of a building as well.
The definition of lease of a “comprehensive part of a building” is not very clear, however, it would be prudent to assume that the lease of any part of a building that can be used separately (i.e. any retail or office unit) falls within the scope of the EPC regulation.
Under the Energy Management Act the owner is obliged to ensure the presentation of energy performance indicators in all promotional materials when marketing the building or its comprehensive part for potential buyers (and now the tenants as well) and procure that any agents (especially real estate agencies) do the same. Therefore, the owner should supply particular information from the EPC to real estate agencies and the agencies should be responsible for the publication of the energy performance in real estate advertising. Moreover, the owner of the building will be obliged to show the EPC to any potential tenant or buyer prior to the signing of the contract and then hand over the EPC.
The owners of commercial buildings should pay attention to changes to the Energy Management Act which will apply as of January 2016 as the failure to comply with its obligations could lead to imposition of administrative penalties.