EPCs for Commercial Property

Commercial Property

What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provides a measure of the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A – G (A being the most efficient).

The EPC must be prepared by an accredited Energy Assessor. The Assessor will report on the energy efficiency of the building itself and its services such as heating, air-conditioning and lighting.

 

When is an EPC required?
An EPC is required (with a few exceptions) whenever a commercial building or part of it is constructed, sold or let. It must be provided at the earliest opportunity (usually when the building is first marketed or viewed) and in any event before contracts for the sale or letting are exchanged or a lease completed.

An EPC is not required for a lease renewal or extension or on the surrender of a lease.

Since the implementation of the first part of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) on 1 April 2023, it has become unlawful for a landlord to continue to let a commercial property with a sub-standard EPC rating (of ‘F’ or ‘G’), unless a valid exemption has been registered.

 

Who must obtain the EPC?
The owner (in the case of a sale) or the landlord (in the case of a letting) or for buildings being constructed, the building contractor is responsible for providing the EPC.

Commercial EPCs will cost a lot more than those for domestic property as the Assessor must carry out a detailed inspection of the building and its services and possibly study plans and manuals, etc.

 

How long is an EPC valid for?
A commercial EPC will be valid for ten years or until a more up to date EPC is produced for the same property.

 

What are the penalties for non-compliance?
If an EPC is not produced at the required time, the responsible person could be liable to pay a penalty charge, as follows:

  • A breach of less than three months: Maximum financial penalty of £5,000 or 10% of the rateable value (whichever is higher), up to a maximum of £50,000.
  • A breach of three months or more: Maximum financial penalty of £10,000 or 20% of the rateable value (whichever is higher), up to a maximum of £150,000

Compliance is policed by the local Trading Standards Authority. It is a defence to show that the EPC was commissioned at least 14 days before it was required but has not been obtained despite reasonable efforts to do so.

 

Register of EPCs
Commercial EPCs will be recorded on a National Register. It will be possible to check whether an EPC already exists for a building and the date of it although the EPC itself cannot be viewed. An EPC is invalidated by a later EPC for the same building.

 

 

This document is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Dixon Ward accepts no liability in connection with any loss suffered as a result of reliance on the information contained in this Fact Sheet.

Our Commercial Property team

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