An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that is a legal requirement for any commercial property in the UK. Whenever you are looking to rent a property, or to buy a building for commercial purposes, you have a legal right to ask for an energy performance certificate. If the seller or landlord does not have an accurate – recently updated – official version of an EPC to provide you with, there could be serious consequences for them, as well as putting off the prospective buyer/tenant. They are available as both a domestic and a commercial EPC.
It is important therefore that if you are a commercial property owner, or a landlord looking to let out commercial space to tenants, that you are fully aware of how to acquire an accurate Energy Performance Certificate and what it means should you fail to provide one when you are asked to do so by a prospective tenant or buyer.
There is a similar document relating to domestic property, with an Energy Performance Certificate providing information about a building and its energy performance and efficiency levels. An EPC is legally valid for a period of ten years and works on a scale of A-G. They were first introduced in England and Wales in 2007 – with a view to being a legal requirement for all buildings that were to be sold or rented out.
A property that is the most efficient in terms of energy will come in under band A on the EPC – and these properties should have the lowest energy bills. The place on the EPC scale will also be used to tell you all you need to know about a property and structure in terms of its impact on the environment, including Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The certificate doesn’t just highlights where a property currently sits in terms of energy efficiency, it also provides advice and recommendations on ways in which the property can improve its levels of energy efficiency in order to cut down the carbon footprint of the property whilst at the same time lowering fuel bills. Commercial EPCs specifically deal only with the ratings relating to Carbon Dioxide emissions on a scale of A-G.
The only exceptions to a commercial building requiring an Energy Performance Certificate is where a building is either condemned and ready to be demolished, or the prospective buyers have informed the seller that they plan to demolish the structure and redevelop the land. Failure to have a valid EPC can lead to large fines (anywhere between a minimum of £500 up to a maximum of £5,000).
The legalities surrounding commercial EPCs was tightened up in April 2018, with the change relating to those properties that did not meet a minimum rating of E or above. All those falling within an F and G rating must immediately carry out remedial work based on the recommendations within the latest EPC. Always seek out a commercial EPC through a professional, specialist company that can provide you with an energy performance certificate.