The increasing focus on energy continues, with changes to the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations  coming into force on 6 April 2012.

The key changes, which will affect all food businesses hoping to sell or rent out a building, are as follows:

  • The requirement to commission an EPC before marketing will apply to all buildings (residential and non-residential), whether for sale or rent.  At present the obligation to commission before marketing applies only to residential property.
  • All reasonable efforts must be used to ensure that an EPC is obtained within seven days of marketing the building (although there will be an additional 21 day period during which the EPC can be obtained, if it has not been obtained within the initial seven day period).  At present the seller is only under an obligation to use reasonable endeavours to procure that the EPC is obtained within 28 days of marketing the building.
  • The requirement to include an EPC, once it has been obtained, with written particulars will apply to all buildings (residential and non-residential), whether for sale or rent. It will not be possible to include the asset rating only.  At present once an EPC has been obtained, a person providing written particulars for the sale of residential property must ensure that the particulars include the asset rating, or attach a copy of the EPC to the particulars.
  • Regulation 5(2)(b) of the current 2007 Regulations will be clarified to make it clear that it does not permit a seller or landlord to delay the provision of an EPC until shortly before contracts are exchanged or a lease completed.

Although these changes come as no surprise, they place an additional energy-related burden on food businesses from 6 April 2012, in a year when the obligation actually to buy allowances under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will hit home for the first time.