Building Standards: Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Amendment

We have recently received an update from the Scottish Government following an amendment made to The Energy Performance of Building (Scotland) Regulations 2008. 

In particular, you might be interested in the following information:

"The EPC register postcode search will be made publically which will allow an individual look up for all EPCs lodged. This will be made available to the public following our next IT release scheduled for week beginning 14 March 2016."

A complete overview of the update can be found below or alternatively you can view the government document (SSI) here

Overview

Amendments to The Energy Performance of Building (Scotland), Regulations 2008, have now been made and will come into force on 19 December 2015. A copy of SSI can be found above for ease of reference. The changes made impact on two specific areas – access to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data and the extension of enforcement powers with regarding to the display of EPCs in public buildings.  

EPC Data Access

Advice from the Information Commissioners Office to the Scottish Government states that EPC data in itself is not ‘personal data’, although when combined with other data sources personal data may be created. In light of this guidance and recognising Government obligations with regard to publication of information, legislation has been amended to extend access of EPC data. Local Authorities, Energy Saving Trust (in their role as a charity), social landlords and Scottish post-16 education bodies have been added to the list of authorised recipients.  

The EPC register postcode search will be made publically which will allow an individual look up for all EPCs lodged. This will be made available to the public following our next IT release scheduled for week beginning 14 March 2016. Please note that restrictions are in place to prevent the use of software to mine data and for those EPCs which are attached to a Green Deal plan. There will also be restrictions in place in relation to ‘excluded buildings’ as defined within Regulation (2) 1. 

Publication of EPC Dataset 

Work is underway to extract and publish a dataset comprising of all the data fields shown on both the EPC and recommendations report, grouped by postcode sector. This will be published on the Scottish Government website in a csv format and should be available in early 2016. Publication of a more detailed dataset is being considered; however, costs and delivery timescales have not yet been agreed.

Compliance – Public Buildings

Each Local Authority has been appointed as the enforcement authority for the EPB regulations within their own geographic area. However, there was a perception that this regime was not robust where Local Authorities were to enforce legislation in respect of the display of EPCs in public buildings which they occupied. Legislation have been amended which will allow Scottish Ministers to enable appointment of Local Authorities outwith their own area and potentially also of a third party."