Self-Catering Owners Will Not Need Energy Certificates Says Council

Tourist Information Centre in Hugh Town

Islanders won’t need an official assessment of how energy efficient your self-catering accommodation is.

And that’s the official view of the Council’s Tourism Department.

New Government legislation requires properties that are occupied for more than four months in a year to include these certificates in their marketing material.

But Sophie Hughes says tourism lobby groups across the southwest are trying to get the requirement overturned.

She says the Southwest Tourism Alliance is suggesting that legally they’re not appropriate for self-catering accommodation. The energy assessments are required for a tenancy agreement but self-catering providers offer instead a ‘licence to occupy’ a property for a week or two.

Sophie Hughes from St Mary's TIC

And Sophie says the rule requiring owners to have them can’t be enforced here anyway. Trading Standards would need to do it, but our Council doesn’t have a trading standards department, she says.

However, Co-chair of Island Tourism, Euan Rodger, sounded a more cautious note, saying his organisation will look at the government guidelines and ‘if sensible’ will encourage owners to consider them seriously.

He says if energy efficiency is an important consideration for visitors here, then owners should take that into consideration.

He also said, as we reported recently on ScillyToday, that the Council is to employ Trading Standards officers from Cornwall Council so “hiding behind the lack of this service is not the way forward, as we will need to conform to remain competitive.”

Agents representing self-catering property owners on the islands say there is confusion about the legislation.

Tony Dingley of Island Properties says his professional body has been dealing with Devon Trading Standards who have said not to bother with the certification but he adds “its a grey area.”

Gill Dan of Bryher-based Isles of Scilly Inclusive Holidays says none of her owners have asked for guidance. But Tim Guthrie of Come to Scilly says, for what it costs for 10 years certification, it’s probably worth getting it done.

Ian Sibley is qualified to carry out the £100 checks and he says he has already been asked to do them for Duchy-owned self-catering lets.