Energy Performance Certificates

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

A government legal requirement, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required if you are looking to rent or sell a building or property.

Who needs one?

All commercial, non-domestic properties require an Energy Performance Certificate when a building is sold or rented. The energy rating is often used by tenants or potential buyers to compare properties; the better the rating the greater the likelihood of renting or selling it is. With the EPC comes a Recommendation Report outlining potential savings opportunities and how the building's energy performance could be improved. This may be critical as regulation becomes ever greater.

EPC Calculations

The government approved software for creating an EPC rating is SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model). An Energy Assessor will input data following an on-site inspection, which generates a rating from 'A' to 'G', where 'A' is the optimum rating. The EPC calculation assesses a building's energy and carbon emissions based upon a created notional building and compares the geometry, construction and fixed services (heating, cooling, ventiliation and lighting) to produce said rating. Building's with higher ratings i.e., 'A' are more likely to be rented or sold.

What happens once the EPC has been Generated?

The EPC report is lodged with the central Landmark register for either England & Wales, Scotland or Ireland (subject to where the building is) on completion and allocated a unique 24 digit Report Reference Number (RRN). A Commercial EPC and Recommendation Report is then provided for the commercial property in question.

Failure to have a valid EPC

If the owner of the building is unable to produce a valid up-to-date EPC, then a fine by Trading Standards can be issued anywhere between £200 to £5,000 per property, depending on the rateable value of the building in question. Clearly, it is critical that a valid EPC is in place!

EPC Exemptions

Regulations do not apply to all buildings; for the purposes of the Regulations, a building is defined as “a roofed construction having walls, for which energy is used to condition the indoor climate”.

Regulations also will not apply where the property in question falls into one of the following categories:

  • Places of worship (not however connected offices if present).
  • Temporary structures with a planned time of use of 2 years or less.
  • Non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand(s).
  • Stand-alone properties with a useable floor area of less than 50m2.
  • Properties due for demolition with a demolition order in place.
  • If it can be demonstrated that the building is to be demolished and redeveloped as set out in the Regulations.