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Commercial Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's) Explained

There are regulations and statutory requirements for sellers, landlords and agents relating to Energy Performance Certificates for commercial premises marketed for sale on or after the 6 April 2012.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

The purpose of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is to provide a prospective buyer, tenant or occupier of a business premises or residential building with information on the building’s energy efficiency and likely carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for them to consider as part of their investment or business decision to buy or occupy that building.

The certificate will show an asset rating system ranging from A to G, with A being the most efficient, and G the least efficient. This system is calculated using a Carbon Dioxide (C02) based index, which is based upon the individual characteristics of the building itself.

The EPC is always accompanied by a separate recommendation report, which highlights areas in which the building could be used more effectively, and improvements of varying economic scales that could be made to the building to enhance its energy performance.

What are my obligations as a seller and those of my agent or broker?

A valid EPC and recommendation report (or written evidence of an application for an EPC) for any property placed on the market must be supplied as part of an advertising listing, and be made available free of charge to a prospective purchaser.

There is a responsibility that falls on both the person selling/letting, and their agent, to obtain an EPC within 7 days of commencing marketing, with an absolute requirement to provide an EPC within 28 days of a property being put on the market.

Who needs an Energy Performance certificate?

An EPC applies only to those business properties which have 'their own heating or conditioning units'.

You must have an EPC if you rent out or sell the premises, or when a building under construction is finished. You also need an EPC if there are changes made to a property which involve providing or extending fixed heating, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation systems.

How can I obtain my Energy Performance Certificate and what will the cost be?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, only an accredited commercial energy assessor can supply a valid EPC and recommendation report. An EPC can vary in cost from £60 to £120, depending on the assessor. Knightsbridge has negotiated favourable rates for our clients through nationwide suppliers. Please contact us for further information.

What are the consequences of not providing an Energy Performance Certificate?

If an EPC is not provided within 28 days of a commercial property being put on to the market, then the property must cease to be marketed until such time as an EPC is available.

Additionally, failure to make available an EPC when required may result in a civil penalty charge notice of 12.5% of the rateable value of the property, ranging from a minimum of £500 and capped at a maximum of £5,000.

It is an offence to issue or provide false documentation with respect to an EPC under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Please note that the above information is not an authoritative interpretation of the law and is intended only for guidance. Any legislation referred to, while still current, may have been amended from the form in which it was originally enacted. Please contact us for further information.

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