Related legislation: Section 63 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 and The Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016.

DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE: Section 63 Advisor Briefing Paper

These regulations apply to owners of non-domestic buildings and require action to assess and improve energy efficiency and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their building.

When do the regulations apply?

- Regulations apply from 1 September 2016.

- They apply to larger buildings, those with a floor area of more than 1,000 m²

- They are triggered by either sale or by lease to a new tenant. Owners of such buildings also require to provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in such situations. Buildings that meet energy standards equivalent to those introduced by the 2002 building regulations (these buildings are already reasonably energy efficient); or are already improved via a Green Deal (a UK Government funding mechanism) are exempted from the regulations.

What do the regulations require?

Where the regulations apply, the owner of the building must undertake further assessment to produce an 'Action Plan' which identifies targets for improvement of the carbon and energy performance of the building and how these targets would be met through physical improvements to the property. Once an Action Plan is finalised, the owner can chose to improve the property by carrying out the required works within 42 monthws or to defer the improvements by reporting operational energy ratings (actual measured energy use via a Display Energy Certificate or 'DEC') on an annual basis.

All Action Plans and DECs are lodged to the Scottish EPC Register. As is the case with an EPC, the Action Plan must be made available to prospective buyers or tenants and provided to the new owner or tenant. Along with an EPC, provision of the Action Plan is all that is required to enable marketing of the property.

The Action Plan will be produced by persons also registered as a 'section 63 advisor' , who have demonstrated competence in the assessment procedure and the provision of improvement advice to building owner.