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Wed June 16 2021

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Councils breaching energy directive

20 May 13 Approximately a third of all local authorities across England and Wales are in breach of a European energy directive designed to improve the energy efficiency of their public buildings.

That’s according to the Property & Energy Professionals Association (PEPA), which submitted a freedom of information (Fol) request to all authorities asking them to confirm their compliance with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

The decision to submit the FoI request was taken after PEPA discovered that the government was failing to monitor how the money allocated to ensuring compliance was actually being spent.

When asked directly if they comply with the directive, 58% of councils confirmed that they did; 30% admitted that they were non-compliant; a further 12% did not answer the question.

Since 1 August 2007 local authorities have had an obligation to ensure they comply with the EPBD. The directive states that a display energy certificate (DEC), which detail a building’s energy consumption, should be on display in all public buildings over 500m2. The government allocated £3.4m in 2008/9 and a further £1.9m each year since to help local authorities meet these new duties.

PEPA is a trade body for businesses that provide energy performance certificates (EPCs) and display energy certificates (DECs).

PEPA chairman Stephen O’Hara said: “What has become clear is that there is a total lack of understanding amongst non-compliant authorities of the potential for DECs to save both energy and money. What’s more, by flouting the regulations they are actually costing their tax payers money.”

He added that where local authorities do not meet their own obligations under the EPBD regulations, nothing is done about it. “This needs to change,” he said.

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