Most members of the Scottish public have not really picked up on the importance of the Energy Performance Certificate which was brought in at the same time as the Home Report. This was a piece of European legislation that requires all properties to have an energy rating. With comments on it such as “at night close your curtains to stop heat loss through your windows” it has been derided as another piece of European legislation adding an extra cost to the house selling process.
The requirement is for all properties that go on the market for sale or for rent to have an Energy Performance Certificate. It is now becoming clearer that the Energy Performance Certificate will form the basis of the Council Tax in the future. There is already legislation in place that by 2018 if your property is under a certain rating you will not be able to rent it out. Most Landlords have not noticed this and it will be interesting to see what impact this has on the rental market.
I have long argued that the Energy Performance Certificate will form the basis of Council Tax going forward i.e. if your house is very efficient you will pay less Council Tax than a property that is extremely inefficient. It will be interesting to see the consequences of this but one consequence I think will be to re-enforce the difference between new build properties and traditional properties. At the moment new build properties on a cost per square metre have never looked better value compared to the cost per square metre of older property. I also think we will see developers following Prince Charles’ line and building more eco-friendly houses. Even now with new planning legislation new build houses are extremely energy-efficient with a smaller carbon footprint and also less cost per month for heating.
Should anybody wish to discuss the implications of the Energy Performance Certificate then I would be more than happy to do so.Lindsay Darroch Partner & Head of Blackadders Property
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