Opening up access to the EPC Registers
During the Central Register downtime on Sunday 22 April, Landmark will be making changes to the current methods of retrieving reports from the Central Register. The Lost Report Reference Number service on the Domestic Register and ‘Does an EPC Exist’ service on the Non Domestic Register will both be replaced by a new service. DCLG has advised:
There are over 7 million Energy Performance Certificates on the register and that number is growing by over a million per year. However, access to this data is currently very tightly controlled.
The register represents an extremely valuable source of information about the energy efficiency of buildings, and the benefits of making use of the data have made it desirable to widen access. From 22 April 2012 this data is publicly available.
This means individuals can look up an Energy Performance Certificate online via the register website allowing them to compare the energy performance of their property with that of similar buildings. This service is available free of charge.
Additionally, authorised organisations can have access to the Energy Performance Certificate data in bulk. The information available includes the address of the building, its energy efficiency rating, technical information about the building construction and the recommended improvements. There is a charge for this service to cover the costs associated with providing the data. Providing this wider access has a number of benefits, including:
• Enabling Green Deal providers to market offers to Energy Performance Certificate holders when the Green Deal is introduced later in 2012;
• Identifying areas where a higher than average number of buildings have poor levels of energy efficiency;
• Facilitating research and analysis which can inform Government policy;
Bulk Energy Performance Certificate data will only be made available to selected organisations. The organisation will have to comply with a number of conditions designed to protect the consumer.
Anyone with an Energy Performance Certificate can opt-out of having their data made publicly available and requesting the Energy Performance Certificate for their property is opted-out of any data searches. It is possible to opt back in at any stage.
What does this mean for you
We understand that assessors will no longer be able to use their digital certificate to download report reference numbers using the ‘Lost Report Reference Number’ service. Assessors, agents and members of the public should therefore use the new search area that will be visible on the Register following the downtime on Sunday 22 April. The new EPC format advises that the owner of the EPC can opt out of their information appearing on the Register. DCLG has produced a frequently asked questions document and please click here to view this. (See Policy Update 4) We do not have any further information at this time but will write again with further news as soon as DCLG releases any further information.