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New energy rating rule

Dealers looking to sell off sites with more than 500 square metres of floor space will need to have Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) from April.

EPCs provide an A to G rating for properties to reflect their energy efficiency and carbon emissions. Dealers will have to have their property assessed by an independent expert before selling.

EPCs have to be supplied free of charge to the company the dealer is selling to before entering a contract for the sale or lease of property. The EPCs are valid for 10 years so are not necessarily required to be prepared for every change of ownership or tenancy.

Matthew Goddard, associate surveyor at Rapleys, said: “It’s still in the developing stages at the moment, but dealers need to be prepared.

“We’re looking to provide an EPC service to our clients and are pursuing accreditation to do that.” Goddard couldn’t give an estimate on how much it would cost to get an EPC.

Rapleys advises dealers to compile accurate floor plans or commission them to be done in order to prepare for the EPC.

Goddard said: “As there’s no accreditation yet, dealers won’t have to meet any criteria to pass for an EPC.

“The building will just receive a rating of A-G, but it’s possible this could change.”

An accreditation scheme for the EPC is expected to be in place soon.

The enforcement of the EPCs will be carried out by local authority weights and measures officers. However, Goddard said it wasn’t clear how it would be enforced.

The top five recommendations given by assessors for improving energy efficiency have been cavity wall insulation, low energy lighting, thermostatic valves on radiators, loft insulation, and double glazing.

Hendy Group is already taking environmental issues into its own hands.

The dealer group has introduced a new heating control system on a number of its sites in order to reduce emissions and energy bills.

John Hendy, Hendy Group director, said: “The new system has proved to be very effective cutting out avoidable wastage. “It’s installed at all of our sites, including the new Leigh Road site, which also uses an underground tank to harvest rain water which is used for washing cars.”

Hendy also said he would be installing automatic lights across its 13 sites. These will switch on when someone enters a room and turn off when they leave across its 13 sites.

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