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EPC Regulations Jan 2013.pdf
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Changes to the EPB Regulations from 9 January 2013

Written Ministerial Statement by The Right Honourable Don Foster MP on changes to the building regulations regime in England.

The Rt Hon Don Foster MP

I am setting out today the changes that will be made to the building regulations regime in England to deliver an even better and more cost-effective way of ensuring our buildings remain safe and sustainable. The changes will deliver savings of around £50 million per year to business. In addition, legislation will also be laid before Parliament shortly to amend the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations and to repeal unnecessary fire provisions of Local Acts which overlap national provisions.

The consultation paper issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 31 January this year contained a range of proposals to improve the building regulations regime. I am setting out today decisions on the deregulatory changes. I am also publishing today a document providing a factual summary of the responses received. The changes have been developed after active engagement with external partners and demonstrate the government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that where regulation is necessary the impact on business is properly considered and the associated cost minimised. Decisions on the outstanding issues relating to the energy efficiency of buildings, on better targeting of radon protection measures and the referencing of British Standards for structural design based on Eurocodes will be set out in a further statement next year. We will also set out next year the outcome of the review of the framework of building regulations and local housing standards which I announced in October.

 

Engagement with our external partners shows that they continue to value the national minimum standards provided by the building regulations. However, where any concerns do arise it is necessary to address them. That is why we listened to those that expressed concern with the costs associated with the electrical safety in the home provisions in Part P of the building regulations. Some have even advocated that Part P should be revoked as a burdensome requirement on competent electricians. We disagree - Part P has been a success - but we do recognise that there is scope to streamline the requirements by removing the requirement to notify smaller-scale, lower-risk electrical work to a building control body. Currently homeowners can face building control fees of upwards of £240 to have simple electrical work, such as an additional plug socket in a kitchen, approved by a local authority. This change will see the notification requirements focused on higher-risk jobs like the installation of new circuits, or work in the vicinity of showers and baths, which is the right approach. There will, of course, remain a duty for these non-notifiable works to comply with the safety provisions required by the regulations and which we have also updated.

 

The new Part P seeks to achieve a reasonable balance of risk. We will continue to monitor indicators which can help identify the impact of the changes and keep this under review. But the key to ensuring electrical work is done properly is to employ competent electricians and so the department will continue to work closely with external partners to identify what more can be done to promote the importance of complying with the provisions of Part P through use of a suitably-qualified electrician. In addition, I will be bringing forward further regulations later next year that will introduce an alternative route to demonstrating compliance with Part P by allowing for third-party certification of electrical work. This will safeguard standards whilst providing a far cheaper way of verifying work is adequate - particularly for those carrying out DIY work. These changes will be accompanied by simpler, clearer and shorter guidance in a new Approved Document P that we will be publishing shortly.

 

In addition, we will be making a number of other changes to the building regulations. We will amend the technical guidance in Approved Document B (Fire safety). In particular, we will update guidance in respect of lighting diffusers which has grown out-of-date as lighting technology has changed considerably. We will also, in relation to wall coverings, be taking forward changes to mitigate problems associated with how the European reaction to fire classifications work in practice. In effect, the changes will maintain the status quo, for example, allowing wallpapers that are currently used to continue to be so in the future. Both these changes have been supported by independent research which shows there are no adverse impacts on safety.

 

We will also be taking forward rationalisation of guidance supporting Parts M, K and N (Access, Protection from falling, collision and impact and Glazing respectively) to address areas of conflict and overlap, which again impose unnecessary costs. At the same time we will clarify the guidance on Access Statements in Approved Document M to promote a more proportionate, risk-based approach. These changes will be delivered by clearer guidance in a new Approved Document K and amendment of other Approved Documents which I will be publishing shortly. We intend that all of these deregulatory changes will come into force on 6 April 2013.

 

In addition to the changes to the ‘technical’ provisions, we have also agreed a number of improvements to the building control system. These are relatively minor changes to benefit both local authorities and Approved Inspectors through changes to the procedures around completion certificates, statutory notifications and removal of the ‘Warranty Link Rule’.

 

The changes to regulations also extend the scope for existing competent person scheme operators. This will allow more work to be self-certified and thereby avoid the need to notify a building control body or pay a building control charge.

 

In relation to the building regulations, we will also be publishing shortly a new Approved Document 7 which provides updated guidance on adequate materials and workmanship for building work, in particular the implications of the full implementation of the European Construction Products Regulation on 1 July 2013.

 

Updated Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations will also be laid before the House shortly. These, in addition to consolidating the existing regulations, transpose the requirements of the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010 and remove unnecessary ‘gold-plating’. The Directive is an EU measure designed to tackle climate change by reducing the amount of carbon produced by buildings.

The new requirements will be introduced on 9 January 2013. The key measures include a requirement for property advertisements to include details of the Energy Performance Certificate rating where available; removal of the requirement to attach the front page of the certificate to any written material; exempting listed buildings from the need to have a certificate on their sale or rent; extending the current requirement for a display energy certificate in large public buildings, to public buildings above 500m² and; introducing a requirement for a certificate to be displayed in commercial premises larger than 500m² that are frequently visited by the public and where one has been previously issued.

 

Finally, given this statement relates to the regulation of buildings, I am informing the House that I will also shortly be laying regulations to repeal unnecessary fire provisions in 23 Local Acts. The decision has been taken in the light of previous consultation which found no evidence to justify maintaining requirements which go beyond the necessary protection already afforded nationally through the building regulations, and lead to differing and inconsistent rules even within fire and rescue authority areas. Evidence does not establish any statistically significant impact on life safety. These changes are intended to come into force on 9 January 2013.

 

I will be placing the revised guidance in the Approved Documents referred to above, along with the impact assessments that accompany all of these changes, in the Library of the House when they are published shortly and alongside the summary of responses that I am placing there today.



Written Ministerial Statement by The Right Honourable Don Foster MP on changes to the building regulations regime in England.

The Rt Hon Don Foster MP

I am setting out today the changes that will be made to the building regulations regime in England to deliver an even better and more cost-effective way of ensuring our buildings remain safe and sustainable. The changes will deliver savings of around £50 million per year to business. In addition, legislation will also be laid before Parliament shortly to amend the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations and to repeal unnecessary fire provisions of Local Acts which overlap national provisions.

 

The consultation paper issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 31 January this year contained a range of proposals to improve the building regulations regime. I am setting out today decisions on the deregulatory changes. I am also publishing today a document providing a factual summary of the responses received. The changes have been developed after active engagement with external partners and demonstrate the government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that where regulation is necessary the impact on business is properly considered and the associated cost minimised. Decisions on the outstanding issues relating to the energy efficiency of buildings, on better targeting of radon protection measures and the referencing of British Standards for structural design based on Eurocodes will be set out in a further statement next year. We will also set out next year the outcome of the review of the framework of building regulations and local housing standards which I announced in October.

 

Engagement with our external partners shows that they continue to value the national minimum standards provided by the building regulations. However, where any concerns do arise it is necessary to address them. That is why we listened to those that expressed concern with the costs associated with the electrical safety in the home provisions in Part P of the building regulations. Some have even advocated that Part P should be revoked as a burdensome requirement on competent electricians. We disagree - Part P has been a success - but we do recognise that there is scope to streamline the requirements by removing the requirement to notify smaller-scale, lower-risk electrical work to a building control body. Currently homeowners can face building control fees of upwards of £240 to have simple electrical work, such as an additional plug socket in a kitchen, approved by a local authority. This change will see the notification requirements focused on higher-risk jobs like the installation of new circuits, or work in the vicinity of showers and baths, which is the right approach. There will, of course, remain a duty for these non-notifiable works to comply with the safety provisions required by the regulations and which we have also updated.

 

The new Part P seeks to achieve a reasonable balance of risk. We will continue to monitor indicators which can help identify the impact of the changes and keep this under review. But the key to ensuring electrical work is done properly is to employ competent electricians and so the department will continue to work closely with external partners to identify what more can be done to promote the importance of complying with the provisions of Part P through use of a suitably-qualified electrician. In addition, I will be bringing forward further regulations later next year that will introduce an alternative route to demonstrating compliance with Part P by allowing for third-party certification of electrical work. This will safeguard standards whilst providing a far cheaper way of verifying work is adequate - particularly for those carrying out DIY work. These changes will be accompanied by simpler, clearer and shorter guidance in a new Approved Document P that we will be publishing shortly.

 

In addition, we will be making a number of other changes to the building regulations. We will amend the technical guidance in Approved Document B (Fire safety). In particular, we will update guidance in respect of lighting diffusers which has grown out-of-date as lighting technology has changed considerably. We will also, in relation to wall coverings, be taking forward changes to mitigate problems associated with how the European reaction to fire classifications work in practice. In effect, the changes will maintain the status quo, for example, allowing wallpapers that are currently used to continue to be so in the future. Both these changes have been supported by independent research which shows there are no adverse impacts on safety.

 

We will also be taking forward rationalisation of guidance supporting Parts M, K and N (Access, Protection from falling, collision and impact and Glazing respectively) to address areas of conflict and overlap, which again impose unnecessary costs. At the same time we will clarify the guidance on Access Statements in Approved Document M to promote a more proportionate, risk-based approach. These changes will be delivered by clearer guidance in a new Approved Document K and amendment of other Approved Documents which I will be publishing shortly. We intend that all of these deregulatory changes will come into force on 6 April 2013.

 

In addition to the changes to the ‘technical’ provisions, we have also agreed a number of improvements to the building control system. These are relatively minor changes to benefit both local authorities and Approved Inspectors through changes to the procedures around completion certificates, statutory notifications and removal of the ‘Warranty Link Rule’.

The changes to regulations also extend the scope for existing competent person scheme operators. This will allow more work to be self-certified and thereby avoid the need to notify a building control body or pay a building control charge.

 

In relation to the building regulations, we will also be publishing shortly a new Approved Document 7 which provides updated guidance on adequate materials and workmanship for building work, in particular the implications of the full implementation of the European Construction Products Regulation on 1 July 2013.

 

Updated Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations will also be laid before the House shortly. These, in addition to consolidating the existing regulations, transpose the requirements of the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2010 and remove unnecessary ‘gold-plating’. The Directive is an EU measure designed to tackle climate change by reducing the amount of carbon produced by buildings.

The new requirements will be introduced on 9 January 2013. The key measures include a requirement for property advertisements to include details of the Energy Performance Certificate rating where available; removal of the requirement to attach the front page of the certificate to any written material; exempting listed buildings from the need to have a certificate on their sale or rent; extending the current requirement for a display energy certificate in large public buildings, to public buildings above 500m² and; introducing a requirement for a certificate to be displayed in commercial premises larger than 500m² that are frequently visited by the public and where one has been previously issued.

 

Finally, given this statement relates to the regulation of buildings, I am informing the House that I will also shortly be laying regulations to repeal unnecessary fire provisions in 23 Local Acts. The decision has been taken in the light of previous consultation which found no evidence to justify maintaining requirements which go beyond the necessary protection already afforded nationally through the building regulations, and lead to differing and inconsistent rules even within fire and rescue authority areas. Evidence does not establish any statistically significant impact on life safety. These changes are intended to come into force on 9 January 2013.

 

I will be placing the revised guidance in the Approved Documents referred to above, along with the impact assessments that accompany all of these changes, in the Library of the House when they are published shortly and alongside the summary of responses that I am placing there today.



Summary of the Changes to the EPBD Regul[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [138.5 KB]
6 April EPB Change – Guidance and FAQ
FAQs.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [60.1 KB]
New EPC Format.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [213.9 KB]

Forthcoming amendments to the EPBD Building Regulations



We have received further guidance from Landmark and DCLG in the last few days and have been issued with a Frequently Asked Questions document.

 

As a summary:

  • The changes to the responsible person rules for non-dwellings effectively bring the responsibility into line with the rules for dwellings and mean that the sales or letting agent is liable for ensuring that an EPC is procured and the information is made available to prospective buyers or tenants 
  • Hard copy of particulars must include a physical copy of the first page of the EPC for properties brought to market on or after 6th April – if the property is on the market prior to the 6th April, then the new requirements do not apply unless there is a break in marketing
  • If a property comes to market on or after 6th April, but has an existing (old style) EPC, then this can be used to satisfy the Regulations – again the first page needs to be attached to particulars
  • The EPC can be reproduced in a smaller size provided it is still legible and meet any other legal obligations. A black and white copy is acceptable
  • There are two new definitions for written particulars - one for buildings to be sold and one for buildings to be rented. In relation to a building to be sold, the duties apply to a written description of the property which includes at least two of the following:
    • a photograph of the building or any room in the building,
    • a floor plan of the building,
    • the size of the rooms in the building, or
    • the measured area of the building
  • In relation to a building to be rented out, the duties apply to a written description of the property which includes at least two of the following:
    • a photograph of the building or any room in the building,
    • a floor plan of the building,
    • the size of the rooms in the building,
    • the measured area of the building, or
    • the proposed rent
  • The requirement to attach a copy of the front page of the EPC to written particulars is where an agent provides written particulars to a person (i.e. a specific individual) who may be interested in buying or renting the building. This implies that a copy of the front page of the EPC does not need to be attached to ‘advertising material’, i.e. a newspaper or window card
  • Landmark will provide a technical solution which will enable property agents to retrieve the EPC from the Register and to attach it to on-line written particulars. This service has been provided at the request of property agents. More detailed information for property agents is available on request at: epc.enquiry@communities.gsi.gov.uk
  • Only property agents who will need to comply with the regulations will be able to register to use this service

 

  •  
    • The address of the non residential building can be concealed from the EPC if the address has also been omitted from the written particulars. The Regulations only allow Landmark to remove the address from a commercial EPC. This enhanced service has been provided at the request of property agents and will cost 50p. More detailed information for property agents is available on request at: epc.enquiry@communities.gsi.gov.uk
    •  
      • The regulations do not permit the removal of the address from domestic EPCs



Changes will be made to the EPBD Regulations on 6 April 2012. The summary of the changes to the EPBD Regulations are as follows:

 

  • The changes will extend the current requirements to commission an EPC that apply to residential buildings to all residential and non residential buildings when sold or rented out

 

  • The requirements for the provision of an EPC with written particulars will be extended to all buildings sold or rented out and the option to attach the asset rating will be removed. The requirement will only extend to the first page of the EPC

 

  • The requirement for the statutory lodgement of air conditioning inspection reports onto the Central  Register

 

Further guidance regarding attaching the EPC to marketing particulars

 

We are awaiting final guidance from DCLG but can share some further information that we have been advised about so far. We will write again with further news or amendments as soon as these become available:

 

  • Hard copy of particulars must include a physical copy of the first page of the EPC for properties brought to market on or after 6th April – if the property is on the market prior to the 6th April, then the new requirements do not apply

 

  • If a property comes to market on or after 6th April, but has an existing (old style) EPC, then this can be used to satisfy the Regulations – again the first page needs to be attached to particulars


  • The requirement for attaching the first page of the EPC applies to all particulars (there is not a definition of particulars but basically it is what you would expect – not the small advert in the newspaper, but anything handed out by the sales or letting agent) for all buildings (dwellings and non-dwellings) being offered for sale or rental


  • Online particulars can either include a scan of the first page of the EPC or can include a link to a service that Landmark is expected to provide. This will always link to the latest EPC for the property (whether new or old style)


  • It is expected that Landmark will provide a service for property agents that allows them to retrieve page 1 of the EPC with the option of a redacted version (i.e. no address) for Non Domestic EPCs. We will confirm this as soon as we have been given further news


  • The address redaction service is only available for non-dwellings.  Where present, the full property address must be shown on the first page of EPC attached to particulars as well as the full EPC which has to be made available to prospective buyers or tenants on request.


  • The changes to the responsible person rules for non-dwellings effectively bring the responsibility into line with the rules for dwellings and mean that the sales or letting agent is liable for ensuring that an EPC is procured and the information is made available to prospective buyers or tenants.