New Register Update – September 2020 (Updated)

New Non-Domestic EPC Sept 2020 page 1

Some time ago, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) decided to bring ownership of the National Register in-house.  The National Register currently contains the details of all valid Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Air Conditioning Energy Inspections (ACEI) in England and Wales.  Separate registers exist for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The intention was to create a new simpler register combining the national registers to form a single UK Register.  Additionally, it was hoped to make energy efficiency assessments more useful tools with the potential for live updates.  Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) will now become a responsive web-based document.  Energy price changes, climate changes and some other changes will be automatically updated as they occur which will ultimately update running costs shown in real time.

To implement these changes, there will be changes to the National Register.  Some of these are taking place on Sunday 20th September 2020.  Accredited assessors should have already been sent details by their respective Accreditation Schemes.

Currently the new register will only apply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Scotland will continue to operate separately.  The new UK National Register will be live from Monday 21st September 2020.

Scottish Register Changes

Separately, the Energy Saving Trust who are responsible for running the Scottish EPC Register have planned their own upgrade work.  The Scottish Register is planned to be offline at 5pm on Thursday 24th September 2020 with a new system online and ready by 9am on Monday 28th September 2020.

Examples of the new certificates

Some examples of the new certificates have been issued.  Please select the examples below to view a full size pdf.

Impact of the changes

Accredited assessors should have already been sent details by their respective Accreditation Schemes.  From the information we have received, we currently anticipate:

  • By Tuesday 15th September 2020 iSBEM users will need to have updated their software.  This is the standard software used for Non-Domestic EPC assessment.
  • By Saturday 19th September 2020 all assessments currently in progress are completed and lodged on the existing National Register.
  • Sunday 20th September 2020 – No assessments should be made, processed or lodged.
  • From Monday 21st September 2020 assessments can resume and will be lodged onto the new UK National Register.
  • From 5pm Thursday 24th September 2020 Scottish Register will be offline and lodgements will temporarily not be possible.
  • From 9am on Monday 28th September 2020 Scottish Register will be restarted and lodgements can continue.

 

Once the new UK Register is live there will be changes in the appearance of certificates and reports.  Additionally there will be changes to the way in which reports are accessed, can be downloaded and should be distributed.  Assessors will also find minor changes to the way in which they request new addresses on the system.

iSBEM updates

To facilitate these changes and ensure assessments can continue to be effectively lodged, BRE have released updates for iSBEM.

For assessments in England and Wales, a new software patch (Patch 04) for iSBEM version 5.6.a needs to be installed. For assessments in Northern Ireland, a new software patch (Patch 03) for iSBEM version 4.1.g needs to be installed.  No changes are currently required for assessments in Scotland.

In both cases, the patches should be installed as soon as possible and no later than Tuesday 15th September 2020.

Additionally, once the new UK register goes live new versions of the software will be required.  For assessments in England and Wales, a new iSBEM version 5.6.b needs to be installed and used. For assessments in Northern Ireland, iSBEM version 4.1.h needs to be installed and used.  Again, no changes are currently required for assessments in Scotland.

In both cases, the new software versions are available for download now and must be used from Monday 21st September 2020.

These patches are available to download from the NCM website (click here).  Both patches are located in the downloads section within the relevant region directly below the software download links.  Please ensure that the correct version is installed (32-bit or 64-bit) for the software you are currently running.

Further information

Many clients and assessors are currently concerned these changes raise more questions than answers.  It does seem very limited information is currently available.  Further information is available from a number of Accreditation Schemes and Bodies listed below: