Scotland’s office buildings will have to meet tough new energy efficiency standards
Scottish commercial properties may require expensive energy improvement works to meet the new minimum energy efficiency standards laid out in the Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-Domestic Buildings (Scotland), a new set of draft rules that could come into force as soon as September this year.
The proposed regulations stipulate that properties must achieve a minimum energy performance level, most likely an E rating based on current Energy Performance Certificate standards. A similar minimum energy efficiency standard is already in operation in England but the Scottish proposals differ in a number of key respects and some fear these inconsistencies will have a negative impact on the commercial property market in Scotland.
The Scottish regulations will apply to all commercial property with a floor area greater than 1,000 square meters. While detailed guidance on proposed exceptions is awaited, only buildings already requiring an Energy Performance Certificate are intended to comply.
With few exceptions, a sale or grant of a new lease on a qualifying property will trigger the need to meet the new regulations, so the owner must provide a prospective buyer/tenant with a formal action plan detailing how the energy performance of the building can be improved to meet the statutory minimum rating.
If improvement works are needed, the owner has two options; to complete the upgrades within 42 months, or defer the works. In the interim, the owner must keep an accurate record of the property’s energy consumption via a Display Energy Certificate, which must be registered annually, with a view to reducing the energy consumption of the property concerned.
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