Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is new government legislation which affects the way that commercial property is sold or let in the UK. It was introduced with a phased approach throughout 2008, in accordance with the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2007.

The idea behind energy performance certification is to promote efficient energy usage and highlight the issue of carbon emissions from commercial buildings. An Energy Performance Certificate will allow potential buyers or tenants to consider energy efficiency as part of their investment or business decision to buy or occupy that building.

The Certificate also provides a Recommendations Report on how the energy performance of the building could be further improved; this could directly affect the perceived value of the building.

Energy Performance Certificates can take up to 4 weeks to produce and importantly they will be required by a purchaser’s/tenant’s solicitor at the point of sale or rental. The certificate is valid for 10 years.

What does an EPC mean?

The EPC looks broadly similar to the energy labels now provided with vehicles and many domestic appliances. Its purpose is to indicate how energy efficient a building is. The certificate will provide an energy rating of the building from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is the least efficient. The better the rating, the more energy-efficient the building is, and the lower the fuel bills are likely to be. The energy performance of the building is shown as a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) based index which compares the current CO2 emissions rating of the building against those for a reference building.

When were they required?

As of 6 April 2008, buildings with a floor area greater than 108,000 sq ft required an Energy Performance Certificate on construction, sale or let.

As of 1 July 2008, buildings with a floor area greater than 27,000 sq ft required an Energy Perfomance Certificate on construction, sale or let.

As of 1 October 2008, all remaining buildings that were not dwellings required an Energy Performance Certificate on construction, sale or let.

Penalties for not having an EPC

The penalty for failing to make an EPC available to any prospective buyer or tenant when selling or letting non- dwellings is fixed, in most cases, at 12.5% of the rateable value of the building, with a default penalty of £750 where the formula cannot be applied. A formula is used as the costs of producing an EPC for non-dwellings are expected to vary according to the size, complexity and use of the building. The range of penalties under this formula are set with a minimum of £500 and capped at a maximum of £5,000.

What you should do

If you are marketing commercial property and have not already actioned the preparation of an Energy Performance Certificate, then we would strongly urge you to do so as soon as possible. In this respect, we have consultants that we would recommend, and if appropriate we can pass on their details in order that they can provide a quotation for you. In order to prepare the Energy Performance Certificate, the consultants will require floor plans and elevational drawings. If you are aware that these are available, then this will help reduce the cost in this matter