4 November 2013

EPB non-compliance costs taxpayer millions

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) is highlighting a significant case where the lack of enforcement of Energy Performance of Building Regulations (EPB Regulations) has cost taxpayers £5.7m. At a time when energy policy is one of the most serious issues facing government, CIBSE argues that this non-compliance can be overlooked no longer.
Dr Hywel Davies, CIBSE technical director, stresses in a column in the CIBSE Journal (November 2013), that Landmark Information Group will be receiving £5.7m compensation relating to a contract to run the national energy certificate register awarded in 2007, and extended to cover lodgement of air conditioning inspection reports in 2012. Thanks to the lower-than-expected level of certificate lodgement, Landmark's revenues are short of what it costs to run the register.

Often termed the 'Cinderella of energy policy', energy efficiency measures for both domestic and non-domestic property can reduce energy demand and provide tangible savings over the longer term. Yet lack of enforcement of measures and compliance with the Energy Performance of Building Regulations is an issue that has to be addressed urgently.

CIBSE has announced it will convene a special EPB Regulations Non-Compliance Roundtable before the end of this year to address the matter and will be inviting interested parties to attend. The Roundtable will also discuss the necessity of an ongoing Task Force to help government address this critical issue.

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) which is responsible for the EPB Regulations, which the register supports, has admitted it does not know how many of the buildings that should have Energy Performance Certificates actually have them.

Dr Davies said: 'Energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to reduce energy consumption in buildings. Energy Certificates and air conditioning inspections are legal requirements which are intended to help businesses cut their energy bills, something that everyone wants to do. It is time that they were taken seriously, and the government took its responsibility under the Directive seriously.'

This also comes at a time when the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) has warned that the Government is in serious danger of killing off the air conditioning inspection regime due to similar enforcement issues.

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