Iain Wright says commerical buildings should help government fight climate change by displaying EPCs

Communities minister Iain Wright has called on businesses to help the government fight climate change by displaying energy certificates.

Wright was speaking ahead of the next stage in the roll out of energy ratings for buildings on 6 April, when large commercial properties and new homes will need an Energy Performance Certificate.

Communities minister Iain Wright

He said that public authorities will also be using certificates to make the way they use their buildings publicly accountable.

Wright said: “Most people do not realise that our buildings account for around half of CO² emissions in the UK - more than twice that of cars and planes.

“Driving up energy efficiency in buildings means more than improving the fabric of the buildings. It means ensuring they are used and managed in a sustainable way.”

The next milestone will be in July when EPCs will extend to buildings with a total floor area greater than 2,500m². And, from October all remaining commercial buildings will require one.

Paul King, chief executive of UK Green Buildings Council, said: “EPCs are a crucial weapon in the fight against climate change.

“They are the building blocks on which to make progress in tackling emissions from our existing homes and buildings.”

Energy Performance Certificates form part of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which all member states must adopt by January 2009.

Other measures include:
Requiring public buildings to display energy certificates.
Requiring inspections for air conditioning systems.
Giving advice and guidance for boiler users.