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Government could be fined £10m over non-EPC compliance

The Government could, by its own admission, be fined £10m for failing to comply with the EU’s Energy Performance Directive by which owners of buildings must produce EPCs when they are rented or sold.

It suspects that the problem is worst in commercial buildings, where non-compliance could be running at over 80%. Complaints have been made to the European Commission.

According to an impact assessment published earlier this month by CLG, the EU could request the European Court to impose a daily penalty or a lump sum.

The impact assessment, signed off by minister Andrew Stunell, says: “If the EU Commission were to take further action resulting in successful infraction proceedings, it could request the European Court to impose a daily penalty or a lump sum.

“There is a formula for working out the final sanctions that could be imposed on a Member State and although the Department for Communities and Local Government has not done detailed calculations, for the UK we estimate this would amount to approximately £10m in the case of the lump sum.

“There is also a formula for working out the daily penalty amount, based upon the following variables: the seriousness of the infringement, its duration and the need to ensure that the sanction itself is a deterrent to further infringements.

“It is not possible, however, to state what the daily penalty amount is likely to be. It will be for the EU Commission to advance the case for a daily penalty and an amount based upon the seriousness and duration of the breach.”

The document urges action, saying: “There is a risk if we do not take action that we could face further complaints being made to the European Commission which could result in infraction proceedings. At present we lack a strong evidence base which could prevent us from providing a robust response to the European Commission.”

Action could include publicity campaigns to raise awareness, or amending the Regulations to make compliance and enforcement easier.

Source: Estate Agents Today

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