Sellers and landlords are required by law to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and recommendations report for all buildings or parts of buildings when they are sold or rented. When a building is constructed the person carrying out the construction must provide an EPC and recommendations report to the owner of the building and notify Building Control that this has been done.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
An EPC tells potential buyers and tenants about the energy performance of a building so they can consider energy efficiency as part of their investment or business decision to buy or occupy that building. The Energy Performance Certificate gives an A to G rating - called the Asset Rating - of energy performance based on CO2 emissions. EPCs will be accompanied by a Recommendation Report which includes advice and suggestions on improvements you could make to save money and energy. Energy Performance Certificates will remain valid for ten years unless the building is modified or a subsequent EPC is produced.
Which buildings need an EPC?
Energy Performance Certificates are required for most non-domestic buildings on construction, sale or rent. Some building modifications which result in the addition or removal of building parts and the extension or introduction of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) services will also require an EPC. The following types of building do not require an Energy Performance Certificate:
Places of worship
Stand-alone non-dwellings less than 50 m2
Temporary buildings with a planned life less than two years
Industrial premises with low energy use where the space is mostly not heated or cooled (such as process and heavy engineering workshops and stores with localised work-station conditioning)
Buildings to be demolished within two years
At what point is the EPC required?
On construction: The constructor gives the Energy Performance Certificate and Recommendations Report to the purchaser on physical completion of the building and notifies Building Control, who will not issue the Certificate of Completion until the EPC is provided.
On sale/rent: As soon as the building is offered for sale/rent the seller/landlord must make an EPC available to prospective buyers/tenants. The Energy Performance Certificate may be for the whole building or individual units, and completion of a contract should not happen without it. An EPC is required if the transaction has not completed before the implementation date above. Some multi-tenancy sale/rent scenarios are complex and you should seek advice from an accredited expert to determine whether an Energy Performance Certificate is required for the individual unit or the building as a whole.
On modification: The person undertaking the work is responsible for providing the Energy Performance Certificate and Recommendations Report to the client. They must then notify Building Control, who will not issue the Certificate of Completion until the EPC is provided.
Penalties: In most cases, the penalty charge for non-compliance, enforceable by Trading Standards, will be 12.5 per cent of the rateable value of the building with a default penalty of £750 where the formula cannot be applied. The range of penalties under this formula are set with a minimum of £500 and capped at a maximum of £5,000.
Who can produce EPCs?
Energy Performance Certificates and Recommendation Reports can only be produced by a qualified and accredited commercial energy assessor. The accreditation and competence of the assessor must be suitable for the complexity of the building. For non-dwellings this is on a scale of 3 to 5, ranging from a simply serviced naturally ventilated building at level 3, to a complex air-conditioned or highly-serviced industrial building at level 5. We are accredited for level 3 and 4 buildings, which covers more than 95% of the market.