DO I NEED A SECTION 63 ASSESSMENT?
Many Scottish businesses are still confused about whether or not they need to take action to improve energy efficiency under the new section 63 legislation a year after the rules were introduced.
The changes mean almost all non-domestic properties must meet new energy efficiency standards.
If they do not meet these targets their owners face fines of £1000.
Property owners also face being forced to make significant alternations to their properties to meet EPC Commercial Property standards.
The Section 63 legislation becomes active when a building is sold or leased to a new tenant.
In addition to existing Energy Performance Certification building owners must now commission a commercial EPC assessor to prepare a Section 63 Action Plan detailing their targets for energy and emission savings and setting out the physical improvements they plan to make to improve energy efficiency, as well as the timescales involved.
As with a traditional commercial EPC this Action Plan must be made available to prospective buyers or tenants.
But there are exceptions, including:
Buildings with a floor area of less than 1000 square metres.
Temporary buildings or buildings due to be demolished – typically with a lifespan of two years or less.
- Properties that have met or exceed energy standards set out in the 2002 Scottish building regulations. This may exempt older buildings that have had comprehensive upgrades to their heating and lighting systems.
- Workshops and agricultural buildings with low energy demand.
- Buildings participating in the Green Deal scheme.
- Prisons and young offender institutions.
- Section 63 legislation expert Raj Chall of Scottish Energy Services is a leading practitioner of commercial EPC Glasgow and commercial EPC Edinburgh.
“Even a year after the new regulations came into force a lot of people still ask me the same question – ‘do I need a section 63 assessment?’
“Ultimately, if you own a commercial building over 1000 metres square there are very few exemptions and the only way you can guarantee not falling foul of the section 63 legislation and finding yourself facing thousands of pounds of fines and liabilities is to talk the matter through with a qualified section 63 assessor.”