When is an EPC required for a Commercial Property?

If you own a commercial property, you were likely made aware of the building’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and its associated rating at the point of sale and may not have given it much thought since. The EPC is a certified measure of how energy efficient your building is depending on a variety of factors.

As a commercial property proprietor, you will need an EPC certificate if you intend to sell, rent out or significantly alter the structure of the building. A new EPC may also be required on the completion of construction of a new build commercial property. There are some circumstances when you should seek a new EPC certification as part of running and maintaining a commercial property. 

This article will look at what an EPC is, why you need one, and how it’s important in relation to commercial properties and actions that trigger the need for an EPC. 



What is an EPC?

An EPC is a certificate that rates your property’s energy efficiency and will provide you with an asset rating for your building from A to G. A is the highest rating available and means your property is highly energy efficient with G being the opposite end of the scale. EPC’s were first introduced in 2007 and are a legal requirement for any private or commercial property that is being sold, rented or adapted.

The rating given is the possible energy performance your property can currently be expected to receive. The EPC will also contain recommendations for improvements that could improve your overall energy efficiency. Once issued, an EPC certificate is valid for ten years.



How is an EPC for a commercial property calculated?

The EPC rating of a commercial property is calculated based on several factors. These include the materials used in the construction of the building and the type of lighting used inside. 


To calculate your rating, a certified Non-Domestic Energy Assessor (NDEA) will visit your property and examine the overall size of the building, the cavity walls, roof insulation, and any HVAC system in use. They will use all this information to work out the building’s energy efficiency. You’ll be issued a rating from A-G, depending on how efficient your commercial property is. 


When is an EPC required for a commercial property?

You will need an EPC for your commercial property in any of the following circumstances:

  • You are selling, renting or building a commercial property.
  • You make significant alterations to an existing property.
  • You make alterations that involve changes to the heating, air conditioning or ventilation systems installed.

An EPC should be made available to any prospective buyer or commercial property tenant when they view the property or when written details about the building are made available, or it is marketed in any way. 



Once obtained, an EPC lasts for ten years. However, there is no need to arrange a replacement simply because the last EPC is more than ten years old. If the building is not being sold, rented out or altered, you will not need a new EPC. This applies even if it is a new build, until any of the above circumstances apply. 

In addition, it’s worth noting that there is no need to obtain an EPC if any of the following apply:

  •  The property is a listed building.
  •  It is a  temporary building intended for the use of a period under two years.
  •  You are renewing or extending an existing lease where the tenant in situ does not change. 


A full list of exemptions can be viewed here.


The Importance of the EPC

It’s essential to be aware of the regulations around EPC’s for commercial properties. Failure to comply or obtain an EPC in the event of renting or selling the property can result in hefty penalties. So as a general rule, if you are renting, selling or changing the property’s structure in any way, you will need a valid EPC Certificate.