Section 63

Section 63 (Scotland)

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As part of its contribution to the international effort required on climate change, the Scottish Government is committed to achieving an 80% reduction in Scotland’s emissions by 2050 and a 42% reduction by 2020 through The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 which received Royal Assent on 4 August 2009.

Section 63 of the Act requires regulations to be made for:

  • the assessment of the energy performance of existing non-domestic buildings and greenhouse gas emissions from such buildings; and
  • for building owners to take steps to improve the energy performance of, and reduce emissions from, such buildings.


Following consultation undertaken between 2011 and 2013, regulations – The Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016 were laid in draft in Parliament on 18 January 2016, with implementation from 1 September 2016.

The Details:
What’s in scope?

  • Applies to Non-Domestic properties with a floor area of 1,000 m2 or more
  • Properties must already be subject to the requirement to provide Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), on trigger of either sale or lease to a new tenant
  • Responsibility lies with the owner of the property
  • Section 63 Action Plan (A/P) is based on the lodged EPC data file (currently only iSBEM NCT files are able to be converted for use in creating S63 A/P’s)
  • Is applicable to all property EPC ratings and does not have a minimum rating to be achieved (unlike the MEES regulations)

Are there exemptions?

  • Buildings that meet energy standards equivalent to those introduced by the 2002 building regulations (these buildings are already reasonably energy efficient); or
  • If the owner has already improved via a Green Deal (UK Government funding mechanism, as such owners are already making improvements) and deemed to comply
  • Properties which are on the market prior to the 1st September 2016 and remain marketed (if removed and then re-marketed an A/P will be required)
  • Buildings under 1,000 m2 (as per the lodged EPC), this can include mezzanines and other floors which then capture the property as being within the scope

S63 A/P can be deferred by producing a yearly Display Energy Certificate (DEC)

Key points

  • The owner of an affected building, after obtaining an EPC (on sale or rental), must undertake a further assessment to identify a target for improvement of the carbon and energy performance of the building and then identify, in an ‘Action Plan’, how this target would be met through physical improvements to the property.
  • Once an Action Plan is agreed the owner can chose to defer the timetable for the physical improvements by arranging to record and report operational energy ratings (recording actual metered energy use via a Display Energy Certificate (DEC), reported on an annual basis). Where the owner chooses to improve, a period of 3.5 years is allowed to do the physical work – this period chosen as the current duration of a building warrant plus six months planning time.
  • As is the case with an EPC, this Action Plan, which identifies improvement target and proposed workplan and any decision to report operational energy use, must be made available to prospective buyers or tenants.
  • Provision of the Action Plan is all that is required to enable marketing of the property.
  • Building on the EPC assessor role, there is a separate role of section 63 advisor which is live and operated by various Accreditation Bodies (AB’s).
  • Web site for more on the issued guidance by the Scottish Government:-