Do Commercial Properties Need an EPC?
July 29th, 2022
Last updated: August 3rd, 2022
Many of us are familiar with the concept of an EPC, and will probably have gone through the process of getting one done for our home. Do commercial properties need an EPC, too?
The answer is usually “yes”. Though there are some exceptions, the EPC system works in a very similar way for commercial buildings.
Whether you are selling, or renting a commercial property, you need to ensure that a commercial EPC is in place in the majority of situations.
It is the responsibility of the owner (or seller) of the property to get this put in place, through a qualified assessor.
What is an EPC?
If you are getting involved with commercial property for the first time, you might not even know exactly what an EPC is, or what its function is.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is all about energy efficiency. It is a scale from A to G ratings, with A being the best (most energy efficient) and G being the worst.
The EPC is graded by a professional based on things like the insulation and the design of the house, and this can help to inform potential buyers or renters. The information is really useful when it comes to projecting things like heating bills. It is also a way to measure the likely carbon emissions relating to a property, and the running of that property.
As well as the current EPC rating, you will also receive a potential rating, which shows if the assessor has worked out that you could potentially make some improvements to the building to provide you with lower bills and a more efficient property.
Copies of the EPC are kept on the EPC Register to view as required. You must also display the certificate you are issued with if you have a floor space of more than 500 square metres.
What The EPC Check Involves
An assessor will create a sketched plan of your building and record a number of different pieces of information when creating the rating, such as the age of the building, any insulation that is in place, the style of windows, the heating system in place, and more.
They will need access to every room in the building including the loft, which can be awkward for some commercial buildings, and it is usually best to get this carried out when the business itself is closed to visitors.
Complications With Commercial EPCs
While the actual process of getting a commercial EPC is very similar to that of residential properties, it is actually a little more complex as a lot of commercial buildings serve multiple purposes, or are part of another, larger building.
It is a good idea to contact the professionals if you are in any doubt about whether you need a specific EPC for your building. For example, if you open up a new stall within an indoor market, you might be wondering “is an EPC required for my commercial property?” – is unlikely that this would be your responsibility. It is always best to check with an assessor for that peace of mind and clarity.
Another complication is that the business could be split into multiple buildings, and each may require its own assessment. For instance, if a hotel has a separate building functioning as a restaurant, they will likely be deemed as two separate entities with their own EPC requirements.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Legislation
As of April 2018, there has also been a legal requirement for all privately owned properties to have an EPC rating at least as high as an E, before they are rented out or sold. This also counts for commercial properties (other than some specific exemptions).
Those who fail to put this in place, and get the rating up to an E or better, could face fines of up to £150,000 for commercial properties, so it is crucially important that you take this seriously.
When is an EPC Not Required For Commercial Property?
There are situations where you do not have to get an EPC for your commercial property. Examples include:
- If the building is a place of worship
- An entirely detached building that has a total useful floor area of under 50 square metres (and is not a dwelling)
- Workshops or industrial sites that have a low energy demand
- Buildings that are set to be demolished in the near future
- Temporary buildings that have a planned use time of under two years, such as a temporary office on a building site.
If you are unsure, it is always best to talk to a professional assessor to get their advice on what the appropriate action is regarding getting an EPC.
If you are unsure as to whether or not your Yorkshire property needs an EPC certificate, our experienced professionals can advise you.