RICS and BPF call for Government Energy Ratings action (UK)

Compulsory new energy ratings for buildings in the UK face little chance of becoming reality before the EU deadline of 4 January 2006, unless the Government takes urgent action to say how it intends to implement the legislation, according to RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and the British Property Federation.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires buildings to be energy rated as part of the EU's commitment to reduce CO2 emissions. Every home and business premises built, sold or let will need to have such a energy rating.

But Government procrastination has meant that the methodologies needed to produce the design, asset or operational ratings of buildings have still not been published. Without these methodologies no training system can be developed for the professional advisors needed to issue the energy certificates.

Roger Watts, RICS member of the Directive Implementation Advisory Group (DIAG), said:
‘The Government seems to be at sixes and sevens about wanting to reduce CO2 emissions. On the one hand it says it wants to cut the UK's CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010 but on the other it says it doesn't know how to implement the Directive. This, at a time when CO2 emissions have risen by 2.2% in 2003 and 1.5% in 2004. Where is the joined-up government?’

Liz Peace, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation, added:
'The property industry fully understands the rationale behind the Directive and indeed supports the need to make more progress in achieving greater energy efficiency in buildings.

‘However, despite repeated calls to Government to work with the property industry in turning the EU legislation into something practical and workable here in the UK, we are still awaiting the necessary guidance. This is not a good start!'

The Directive also raises a number of important concerns which government has still to address:

  • The effect on property values given that existing buildings will be exempt from the new certificates until sold or leased;
  • How to implement the energy rating of multi-tenanted buildings such as shopping centres;
  • Professional indemnity concerns. Current professional insurance covers only six years whereas the energy certificate is for ten.

RICS and BPF urge the Government to issue a clear and unambiguous statement on the methodology to be used for measuring the energy performance of buildings and to begin a meaningful dialogue with the industry over the Directive's implementation.

Source: RICS

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