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Government Faces Brussels Fines Over Energy Efficiency Failure

20 December 2013 | Updated 01 January 1970

In an initial ruling, the European Commission (EC) found the UK is not enforcing laws that require Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) to be filed for all buildings when they are bought or sold. The requirement to produce EPCs for buildings is designed to stimulate the market for sustainable buildings.

The Brussels ruling, laid down last month, warned the UK government that it had to ‘fully implement’ the law, or else its case could be referred to the European Court of Justice, which is entitled to impose fines of millions of pounds. The government has two months to respond to the initial ruling.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said it was “working with [the Commission] to resolve the matter”.

The government has already had to pay £5.7 million to Landmark, the firm that runs the national database of EPC data, because of the low level of EPCs being completed.

Andrew Warren, director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE), said the problem was the “slipshod” approach to enforcement of the law by the DCLG. He added: “There are at least 6 million transactions which should have involved an energy performance certificate, but have not done so. But the communities department seems oblivious to reason. Perhaps a prosecution from the EC, followed by a stiff fine, will wake them up from their torpor?”

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 20 December 2013


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