Commercial energy assessment legislation in Scotland has changed with effect from the start of September 2016 with the introduction of measures set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The changes have serious implications for owners of commercial buildings, tenants and their agents alike as the Scottish Government seeks to force implementation of improvement measures to the energy performance of existing commercial buildings. The responsible parties will be forced to address building energy issues within a fixed timescale and fines are set to be imposed on those that fail to comply.
In its initial phase the legislation demands where qualifying commercial buildings exceed 1,000 m2 GIA that a Section 63 Action Plan be obtained. These new documents will be in addition to the existing requirement for an Energy Performance Certificate or EPC. They will also require preparation and lodgement on the public register prior to commencement of any marketing for sale or lease.
Section 63 Action Plans are documents that are developed by further review of the output data from EPC software by commercial energy assessors that have completed additional training and accreditation. DHKK assessors are fully qualified and accredited to provide this service. The Action Plan will contain a list of improvement measures whose implementation will set the reduction targets for the building’s emissions and energy consumption.
The Action Plan is initially produced in draft for agreement with the building owner or person responsible for its commission. At this point the person responsible is required to choose between two options:
There are a number of categories of buildings that are exempt from Section 63 and do not require preparation of an Action Plan for marketing to be undertaken.
Where the responsible person elects to adopt and refine an Action Plan, they may choose to replace some or all of the prescriptive improvement measures listed in the draft Action Plan with alternative measures. Replacement of prescriptive measures with optional measures is conditional on the resulting package of measures achieving savings in CO2 emissions and energy consumption that are equal to or better than the Target Savings identified in the draft Action Plan.