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Act immediately if you don’t want your non-domestic EPC rating released to the world 9 January 2015

This article contains errors.  Please read this clarification in conjunction with it.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced this week that it intends to publish approximately 723,000 records relating to the energy performance of non-domestic buildings in response to a request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

More information is available here.

Information about individual EPCs relating to non-domestic properties is already publicly available from the EPC register, unless owners  have taken the option of opting out of having the information publicly available.  The last FAQ in the DCLG’s Guide to energy performance certificates for the construction, sale and let of non-dwellings says:

Q. Who has access to the EPCs for non-dwellings on the central register?
A. Data held on the central register is publicly available. It is possible to search
for an EPC on the register by entering either the certificate’s report reference
number or the building post code. The building owner with an EPC can ‘opt out’
of having their data made publicly available.

(EPCs relating to domestic properties are not publicly available, for fear that owners of low-rated properties will become the targets of double-glazing and other salespeople.)

On this occasion the department will be releasing a vast batch of non-domestic EPCs in response to a request for information.  It is therefore giving the holders of non-domestic Energy Performance Certificates the opportunity to decide whether to opt out before the records are released.  Regulation 30 of the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 permits holders of Energy Performance Certificates to opt out of having the data from their certificates disclosed publicly in a manner which may identify them.

When released, these records will be published at individual address level.  It is not the purpose of this article to consider whether or not opting-out is appropriate. Sharing information is now all the rage, whether it is what you ate on your last restaurant visit or the price you paid for your house.  Personally, I am more keen on the former than the latter, but I am aware that the Government does not share my discomfort in making other people’s private information publicly available to all.

How to opt out

Holders of non-domestic Energy Performance Certificates may opt out by visiting www.epcregister.com/opt-out before Friday 16 January 2015.  (Even after that date, the option of opting out will remain, but the information may already have been released in response to this specific request for information, of course.)

The option of opting-out is not available to holders of Display Energy Certificates.

Talking of DECs, could there be a worse one than this, which I found in the basement of a car park beneath Kensington Town Hall ?  I’m not even sure that an underground car park needs a DEC.  Views, anyone ?

DEC photo

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