Listed Buildings – Do I need an EPC?

There is a general assumption that Listed Buildings are exempt from the requirements for an EPC. This is correct up to a point in that buildings protected as “part of the designated environment” or because of their “special architectural or historical merit” do not require an EPC on the basis that compliance with the minimum energy performance requirements would “unacceptably alter their character or appearance”

The government has in order to provide further clarification on this issued the following guidance:

“To comply with minimum energy performance requirements , many of the recommendations in an EPC Report, e.g. double glazing, new doors and windows, external wall insulation and external boiler flues, would likely result in unacceptable alterations in a majority of historic buildings”

This guidance suggests that if works are required which would unacceptably alter the building’s character or appearance then there would be an exemption for a listed building. The problem is that without carrying out an EPC survey it may not be possible to ascertain whether there are recommended works which would mean that the listed building is exempt. For instance if the only works are minor internal alterations such as installing a more efficient boiler or laying additional insulation in the roof then these would not necessarily be classified as ‘unacceptable alterations’. This in effect creates a slightly ludicrous situation where you almost need to obtain an EPC to decide whether or not one is required.

It is likely that at some point further guidance will be issued by the government on when an EPC will be required for a listed building. At present the onus is being put on owners “to take a view” as to whether their listed building is exempt. It is further recommended that owners contact the local authority conservation officer where they are in doubt.

Author: Paul Carpenter