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Local authorities breach EU energy regs on buildings

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More than a third of local authorities have been found in breach of EU energy regs

The results of a nationwide Freedom of Information (FOI) bid, revealed that local authorities were flouting their responsibilities when it comes to the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Thirty per cent of councils admitted to not complying with the regulations, which are designed to improve the energy efficiency of public buildings, according to the Property and Energy Professionals Association (PEPA). The organisation issued a FOI request to all local authorities in January asking that they confirm their compliance with the directive.

When asked just 58 per cent of authorities admitted they complied with the European directive, despite it being a requirement since August 2007.

The European Directive states that a Display Energy Certificate (DEC), which detail a building’s energy consumption, should be on display in all public buildings over 500m2, and the government currently spends £1.9 million each year on helping local authorities to comply.

Chairman of the PEPA, Stephen O’Hara, said: ‘What has become clear is that there is a total lack of understanding among non-compliant authorities of the potential for DECs to save both energy and money. What’s more, by flouting the regulations they are actually costing their tax payers money.

‘It is unbelievable that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) sits on its hands in these times of austerity and watches Local Authorities fritter away money on high energy costs. It seems that the Secretary of State Eric Pickles does not understand why improving energy efficiency is so vital, not just to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions, but for the economy.’

John Alker of the UK Green Building Council commented: ‘It’s very disappointing that compliance with European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is so poor. Far from it being a burden, local authorities are actually missing a golden opportunity – DECs show how buildings are actually performing and where carbon and energy savings can be made.’

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