CLA seeks clarity on listed building exemption from energy efficiency regulations

04 November 2016

Unclear regulation around whether listed buildings are exempt from needing a certificate to prove how energy efficient they are is causing confusion among heritage owners, according to the CLA.

The CLA, whose members own or manage over a third of all heritage in England and Wales, has written to Housing Minister Gavin Barwell asking him to confirm that listed buildings are exempt from the legal requirement to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) upon sale or rent.

From April 2018 it will be illegal for a private landlord to let a property with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating lower than E to a new tenant and to an existing tenant from April 2020. But the CLA says ambiguous regulation reveals that heritage properties could still be liable to meet minimum energy efficiency standards commonly known as MEES.

CLA President Ross Murray said: “Strict conditions around what improvement works can be done to listed buildings mean that irreparable damage could be caused if owners are forced to comply with minimum energy efficiency standards.

“The Government previously said it was exempting listed buildings from the need to have an EPC on sale or rent. However, the regulation is causing unease amongst heritage property owners because of a confusing phrase we are unable to interpret.”

“We have written to the Minister seeking clarification that the Government’s intention is to exempt listed properties from requiring an EPC and therefore avoid any harmful works.”

The CLA’s letter to Mr Barwell suggests that the sentence which throws the exemption into doubt has been accidently incorporated into UK regulations from an EU Directive...“in so far as compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance”.

Mr Murray added: “Having or not having an EPC does not affect the character or appearance of a building. This confusing phrase must be clarified by the Government to reassure listed buildings owners they do not need to provide a certificate on sale or rent.”

Read the letter to the Minister of State for Housing and Planning in full here