Everything you Need to Know About EPCs for Commercial Properties

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates how energy efficient your property is using grades from A to G (with A being the most efficient grade). Virtually all domestic and non-domestic properties must have an EPC.

You must have an EPC if:

  • You rent or sell the premises.
  • A building under construction is finished.
  • There are changes to the number of parts used for separate occupation and these changes involve providing or extending fixed heating, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation systems.

WARNING – You can be fined between £500 and £5,000 based on the rateable value of the building if you do not make an EPC available to any prospective buyer or tenant.

When you must display an EPC

You must display an EPC by fixing it to your commercial building if all these apply:

  • The total useful floor area is over 500 square metres.
  • The building is frequently visited by the public.
  • An EPC has already been produced for the building’s sale, rental, or construction.

How much does it cost for an EPC?

The cost of an EPC purely depends on the building being assessed. All EPCs are valid for 10 years.

How to get an EPC certificate

You can only get an Energy Performance Certificate from a commercial energy assessor.

The type of assessor you will need depends on the complexity and features of the building. If you need advice on choosing one, we recommend you speak to a commercial (non-domestic) energy assessor or contact the approved accreditation scheme they belong to.

Exemptions for EPCs

You do not need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you can demonstrate that the building is any of these:

  • Listed or officially protected and the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it.
  • A temporary building only going to be used for 2 years or less.
  • Used as a place of worship or for other religious activities.
  • An industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that does not use much energy.
  • A detached building with a total floor space of under 50 square metres.
  • Due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant consents.

Vacant buildings and demolition

A building is also exempt if all the following are true:

  • It is due to be sold or rented out with vacant possession.
  • It is suitable for demolition and the site could be redeveloped.
  • The buyer or tenants has applied for planning permission to demolish it.

What is the current legal requirement for an EPC rating?

Currently, it is a legal requirement that commercial buildings must have a rating of at least an E before a new or renewal lease can be granted.

However, from 1 April 2023 this requirement will be extended to both new and existing leases. What this means is that landlords will not be able to continue letting or sub-letting a commercial property with an EPC rating of less than E.

To find out more about the EPC regulation changes, please click here.

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