If you are a commercial property or owner, you may have asked yourself, “Do I need a Commercial EPC?”
Many commercial buildings in the UK require an Energy Performance Certificate when it is constructed, sold or let.
This EPC is displayed in a similar way to that of a domestic property, with the energy rating shown on an A-G scale. As with a Residential EPC, a Commercial EPC is valid for 10 years.
As the seller or landlord, you are responsible for ensuring there is a Commercial EPC for the building, or part of the building, being sold or let. This applies even if an agent or another service organisation is acting on your behalf or providing an EPC. You must ensure any person acting on your behalf (i.e. estate or letting agent) is complying with the regulations.
When is an Energy performance certificate required?
Your property’s EPC needs to be available to potential buyers as soon as you start to market your property for sale or rent. EPC Certificates became a regulatory requirement in April 2008. You must get an approved Commercial Energy assessor to produce the Commercial EPC.
Commercial EPC Certificates are a requirement on all commercial properties, that are either being sold, built, or rented, and must be provided to a prospective buyer or tenant free of charge.
Are there any exemptions to having a Commercial EPC?
Some buildings don’t need an EPC. However, these regulations have been devolved and so different rules apply in different administrations (parts of the UK). They are also linked to the respective building regulations and so some of the exemptions only apply in very specific circumstances.
For example, you might think a church or mosque would automatically be exempt as a place of worship but that is not always true. You have to consider the way all parts of the building are used carefully and, whilst parts of the building might be exempt if they were separated, the building as a whole may not be.
If you are unsure you should contact experts for advice.
Currently, in England and Wales, exemptions are in place for buildings that are:
- places of worship
- temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
- stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50m²
- industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
- due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant planning and conservation consents
- due to be demolished and the site redeveloped by the buyer or tenant where they are sold or rented out with vacant possession and
- the buyer or tenant has applied for planning permission to demolish it
- some listed buildings – you should get advice from your local authority conservation officer if the work would alter the building’s character
What are the penalties for not having a Commercial EPC?
The penalty for not having a valid commercial energy performance certificate available to a prospective buyer or tenant is usually fixed £750.00. However, 12.5% of the rateable value of the building can also be charged. Penalties that can be applied under this formula can range from £500 and are capped at £5,000.
What can I do?
First and foremost if you already have an EPC for your property take a moment to review it.
They last for a period of 10 years from the day of issue unless it has been replaced by a more recent EPC. In this case, it is the latter EPC that is valid.
If the EPC has an efficiency rating of A – E then you can breathe a sigh of relief! It is now against the law to grant a new lease or renew an existing lease on commercial properties with an energy rating of an F or G.
Many landlords will be able to improve the efficiency of their property by making relatively minor changes such as removing portable heaters. An EPC will contain recommendations as to what improvements can be made and what energy rating that the property can be increased to. Advice should be taken as to what changes could or should be made.
Commercial properties are varied and cover a wide range of uses. As such an EPC provider may take longer to assess a property than a straightforward residential property EPC.
Focus 360 Energy are experienced EPC assessors who have the relevant knowledge and expertise to deliver Energy Performance Certificates Bristol property owners and landlords can trust. For more information about the Commercial EPC’s in Bristol we deliver, simply contact us today online, or call 0117 287 2899.
Please note the contents of this post are given for information only. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.