For anyone selling or letting out a commercial property, you will need to book an inspection for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before putting the property on the market. These assessments look at how energy efficient the premises is and make recommendations on how this could be improved. Although the vast majority of commercial properties require an EPC, there are some exceptions and even though they are a requirement, they also provide valuable information on where various areas of the premises could be made more energy efficient.
As buildings with better energy efficiency will be cheaper to run, having an EPC which shows a good rating will make the building more appealing to buyers or tenants. Commercial buildings with poor ratings can benefit from the advice given on the EPC on how they can improve their energy efficiency.
To comply legally, anyone selling a commercial property must present a valid EPC when potential buyers view the property, when their solicitors request written information and when they exchange contracts. Failing to do so can result in a fine from Trading Standards of between £200 and £5000.
From April 2018, landlords will require an EPC with an E rating or above for their property in order to lease it out or renew an existing lease. The government estimates that up to 18% of commercial buildings have EPC ratings lower than this so it is worthwhile having the EPC inspection done early so you have plenty of time to implement changes before this regulation comes into force. In April 2023, this law is going to be extended so landlords will not be able to continue letting a property out if it has a rating lower than E.
Some commercial properties are exempt from requiring an EPC. These are:
All other commercial properties require an EPC to be sold or let and will need a rating of E or higher from April 2018.
When a Non-Domestic Energy Assessor (NDEA) inspects a property, they look at the energy efficiency of different aspects of the building in relation to how they affect the entire building’s energy efficiency rating. They look at the size of the property, the age, type and the materials used to build it along with the lighting, ventilation, wall and loft insulation, windows and heating/air conditioning system. This allows them to make recommendations in each of these areas to improve the building’s rating.