Commercial EPC Facts
1. EPC's are required for all 'conditioned' commercial buildings over 50sq metre when they are sold, let, modified (building fabric or services) or constructed. A 'conditioned' building is one with a roof and walls which uses energy to condition the indoor climate i.e. some levels of heating, mechanical ventilation or cooling
2. Failure to provide an EPC can result in a fine of 12.5% of the rateable value of the building up to a maximum of £5,000. Enforcement is carried out by local Trading Standards departments.
3. EPC's are not required on construction, sale or rent for:
Places of worship, temporary buildings with a planned time of use less than two years, stand alone (detached) buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2 that are not dwellings, industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with very low energy demand.
4. EPCs are not required on sale or rent for buildings due to be demolished.
The seller or landlord should be able to demonstrate that: the building is to be sold or let with vacant possession; and the building is suitable for demolition and the resulting site is suitable for redevelopment; and they believe, on reasonable grounds, that a prospective buyer or tenant intends to demolish the building (e.g. on evidence of an application for planning permission).
5. An EPC is valid for ten years, or until a newer EPC is prepared.
6. A building can either be the whole building or part of a building designed or altered to be used separately.
The sale and let of commercial buildings can be complex with floors let to different tenants, and with a mixture of retail, office and residential accommodation. The EPC required for any space you Offer for sale or let must reflect the accommodation on offer.
7. Selling or letting a building as a whole?
You can prepare an EPC for the whole building, even if that building has parts designed or altered to be used separately with separate heating systems.
8. Selling of letting part of building, where the building has a common heating system ?
If a building has a common heating system, then the seller or prospective landlord can prepare (or make available) an EPC for the whole building or for a part designed or altered to be used separately. The EPC will be based on the energy consumption of the building apportioned in relation to the area of the accommodation being offered.
9. Buildings with separate parts and separate heating systems?
An EPC should be prepared (or made available) for each part of a building that is being offered separately for sale or let. The EPC should reflect the services in those part(s) being offered for sale or let and will include a portion of the energy consumption of any common areas that exist solely or mainly for access to the part.
10. Residential accommodation
Any separate residential accommodation that is self-contained will require its own EPC (using SAP or RdSAP as appropriate). Residential space that can only be accessed via commercial premises (i.e. a house with a shop in a downstairs room or a shop with accommodation where the access is through the shop) will be assessed with the commercial premises as a single building (where SBEM is more appropriate).
What an Energy Performance Certificate looks like and contains
The certificate provides you with a rating for the building, showing its energy efficiency. The ratings are similar to those found on products such as fridges and are standard so the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another building of a similar type.
Each rating is based on the performance of the building itself and its services (such as heating and lighting), rather than the domestic appliances within it. This is known as an asset rating. The certificate also lists the potential rating of the building if all the cost-effective measures were installed.
The ratings will vary according to the age, location, size and condition of the building. The potential rating on the certificate will take these factors into account, and the suggested measures will be tailored so that they are realistic for the particular building.
The certificate also includes a recommendation report, providing information about ways to improve the energy performance of the property. Recommendations include cost effective improvements and further improvements (that achieve higher standards but are not necessarily cost effective). For each improvement the level of cost, typical cost savings per year and the performance rating after improvement are listed. The potential rating shown on the certificate is based on all the cost effective recommendations being implemented.
In addition the EPCs must convey several other key pieces of information:
This includes the type of property, the unique reference number (as stored in the central register) and date of the certificate.
Energy Assessor details
This includes the assessor's name, accreditation number, company name (or trading name if self employed) and contact details.
The certificate will provide information about how to complain or how to check the certificate is authentic.