E-Newsletter April 2016
We are hosting a Breakfast Briefing in Edinburgh on 15th April. As previously reported there is a lot happening in Scotland this year representing some interesting new business opportunities. Our event brings speakers from government departments and agencies and is an ideal opportunity to not just keep up to date but to provide feedback first hand to the decision makers. I will also be there to answer any questions you have about how we are operating and for you to let me know what we can do for you. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. The event is free but you need to book on line here.
Also on Scotland, can I remind you that when producing EPCs for Scotland, the register is now (and since 20th March 2016) only accepting xml files produced on the latest version of the software, i.e. SBEM engine v.5.2.g.
The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) (Amendments) Regulations 2016
I wrote to you last month to notify you of the impact of these regulations on lodgement fees effective from 6th April. If you produce certificates for any of the excluded building categories you may need to have a conversation with them, it is not clear what the decision criteria is for "sensitive" I am not sure that energy performance information can ever be "sensitive". If you haven't had the chance to run through the whole document yet, our notification letter included the following summary which may be helpful:
Further amendments to the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 have been made as follows:
• Enable free access to energy performance of buildings data. Any data requests not met by the planned free to access data will be considered under the provisions in the Environmental Information Regulations 2014;
• Removal of the regulations relating to the current Bulk Data Service from October, as this service will be replaced by the free access to data; Amend the existing provisions in the regulations for buildings treated as 'excluded' on the Registers.
A number of clarifications have also been made as follows:
• Clarify that energy performance ratings must be calculated in a way approved under regulation 24 of the Building Regulations;
• Provide definitions of 'operational rating' and 'asset rating' to clarify that they are calculated/measured and mean the 'energy performance of a building'; and
• Resolve a discrepancy which limits the 'construction duty' to crown properties.
Bulk Data service and free to access data
We (DCLG) believe it is strongly in the public interest to enable more open access to some of the data held on the Registers. The decision about which data items will be made free to access reflects a privacy impact assessment and will be safeguarded by appropriate licence and copyright provisions. Individual property owners or occupiers can already opt out of data access arrangements. We will be publicising the intended changes and highlighting the opt out facility in this context before changes are implemented.
A change has been made to the regulations to enable the owners or users of security sensitive buildings to decide not to enter relevant building data on the Registers if they judge it to be too sensitive. We recommend that energy assessors make customers requesting certificates relating to buildings that could fall into this category aware of this.
Excluded buildings, as defined in the regulations, would cover buildings owned, occupied or used from time to time by or for one of these purposes:
(a) the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service or the Government Communications Headquarters,
(b) any of the armed forces,
(c) the Royal Family,
(d) a prison,
(e) a contracted out prison within the meaning of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, or
(f) a young offender institution
Where there is a statutory requirement for an excluded building to have an Energy Performance Certificate or an air conditioning inspection report, but the customer does not want the data to be entered onto the Registers, the assessor should:
1. provide a printed copy of the certificate and/or report. These certificates and reports will contain a watermark to indicate they have been produced from data not lodged on the Registers;
2. ask whether the customer would like the underlying data, explaining the use of that data if the customer needs to query the assessment subsequently;
3. once certificates and reports have been provided, destroy all paper records, delete all the relevant data from their systems and files and
4. ensure that no data relating to the building and assessment is passed to their accreditation scheme(s).
In the circumstances where the customer has requested for data not to be lodged on the Registers, quality assurance and auditing processes will not apply. We will be reviewing the SORs to see if changes may be needed regarding this regulatory change, although would note that this provision is likely to affect only a small number of buildings. Should the customer choose to register the data, they may of course choose to opt out of data access arrangements.
Since my last monthly e-newsletter we have completed our CPD audit and are pleased to report that our suspension number has decreased significantly since last year, so this is just a reminder for the few that are still outstanding. You will need to log in to http://cpd.cibse.org/ and set your objectives before recording the activity that you carried out to meet those objectives. You also need to identify the relevant scheme. Remember that if you are on the ESOS register you need to have 5 hours against an ESOS specific objective. Please let us know when your record has been updated so that we can reinstate you, subject to everything else being in order.
Dr Andrew Geens
Head of CIBSE Certification