Next stage of EU's directive comes into force in October

Insurers have warned that the shortfall of accredited energy assessors for commercial property must be filled before October, when the next stage of the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) comes into force.

From 1 October, all commercial buildings in the UK will require an energy performance certificate (EPC) – which rates a building’s energy efficiency – when they are constructed, sold or let.

The October deadline marks the final of three stages of legislation that saw all properties of more than 10,000 square metres require an EPC by April, and buildings of more than 2,500 square metres need an EPC by July.

“At the beginning there were very few assessors,” Steve Ford, special services manager for Allianz Engineering said. “At the moment, there are about 70 to 100 accredited persons. But how many the market will need to sustain itself depends on how the market grows, and how many people move house.”

The Communities and Local Government Department, which regulates EPCs, declined to disclose how many had been accredited.

Most major insurers have introduced energy services. Allianz, for example, has offerings for the property market including EPCs, Display Energy Certification (DEC) and air conditioning efficiency inspection. RSA is another provider of these services.DECs, which show data on a building’s energy use, also become mandatory in October, while Level 1 air conditioning efficiency inspections are mandatory by 4 January 2009.