Norwich Union advises property owners to be ahead of the game

Article date: 3 September 2008

Property owners need to be ready for the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) by commissioning energy surveys early, says Norwich Union, part of Aviva.

From 1 October 2008, EPCs will be mandatory for the sale, rent or construction of all non-domestic buildings. Norwich Union suggests opting for a specialist supplier, such as Bureau Veritas*, to carry out a site-survey of work prior to the legislation being finalised. This will enable the process to be seamless at a period where a shortage of skilled resource is expected as the deadline approaches.

Mike Colmans, underwriting manager of Norwich Union's property owners segment, said: "Without EPCs, property owners will be unable to sell a portfolio or sign up new tenants, which could of course result in loss of income. It is imperative that property owners prioritise their whole portfolio and commission surveys early for each site."   

New certificates will have an impact on the property market in general as the seven band A-G grading, with category A being the most energy efficient and G being the least, provides potential buyers and tenants alike with vital environmental data on a building. 

"Environmentally friendly organisations will certainly prefer occupying A or B-rated buildings. For those motivated more by price, greater transparency of the cost of future energy bills is likely to be reflected in the purchase and rental prices they are prepared to pay," said Colmans.

Colmans continues: "The energy rating of a building is based on a combination of factors that involves extensive gathering of data, such as: floor plans and occupancy of particular areas within the property; type of construction of the building; heating, cooling, ventilation and hot water systems; and lighting.

"Therefore, it makes sense to employ experienced engineers to carry out preparatory work and help to anticipate the introduction of EPCs, since it involves complex calculations. 

"Actual certificates will then be produced in time to avoid unnecessary disruption and prevent loss of income for the property owner, at a time where demand for such services is likely to be high." 

* Norwich Union property owners can benefit from discounted services with preferred supplier, Bureau Veritas.


For further information, please contact:
Sam Bramwell at Staniforth on 0161 919 8024 / 077381 96667 or Sally Leeman at Norwich Union on 01603 684 225/ 07789 270 677.

Notes to editors:
This press release should not be relied upon as Legal advice.

Norwich Union is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 15%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.

In the summer of 2009 Norwich Union will change its name to Aviva.  Aviva is the world's fifth largest insurance group and operates in 27 countries. Aviva is to become the customer brand worldwide, thus enabling the company to compete even more effectively on a global scale for the benefit of customers, staff, business partners and shareholders.

Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at

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