Commercial property owners should warm to Energy Performance Certificates
27 Jul 2008
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) rating the energy efficiency of a building may be familiar to those buying and selling the family home, forming part of the controversial Home Information Pack, but perhaps less so for those selling or leasing commercial premises.
However, with all property with a floor area exceeding 2,500m² now requiring an EPC and with the regulations to be extended to all premises from 1 October 2008, now is the time to warm to these new requirements, says Sussex law firm Adams & Remers.
Philip Rowland, a commercial property solicitor at Adams & Remers, said: “An EPC sets out details of the energy efficiency of a building. It is intended that the introduction of EPCs will allow potential purchasers and tenants to use the information to consider energy efficiency as part of the investment or business decision to buy or occupy a building. Whether this is the case or not remains to be seen.”
The EPC will contain an energy rating that grades the building’s current energy performance on a scale from A (very efficient) to G (the lowest rating) and a ‘recommendation report’ which sets out recommendations that may be implemented to improve energy efficiency and details the potential energy rating that could be achieved if the recommendations are implemented.
Who needs one?
“EPCs are only required when a building is constructed, sold or let,” said Philip. “An EPC will not be required for a lease renewal, extension or surrender.”
An EPC can be obtained for the whole of a building or a part, depending on the nature of the building and its services.
“Where a multi-let building is sold as a whole, the seller may provide the buyer with an EPC for the whole, or a separate EPC for each part being used separately,” says Philip.
“If the tenant of a part of a multi let building is underletting or assigning its lease, it is the tenant’s responsibility to provide an EPC. If the building is served by a common heating system, the tenant may provide the proposed undertenant or assignee with an EPC for the whole of the building, if one has already obtained by the landlord.”
Penalties and enforcement
Enforcement of EPCs will be the responsibility of the relevant local authority, usually via its trading standards officers. Failure to provide an EPC may result in a penalty of 12.5 per cent of the rateable value of the property, subject to a minimum of £500 and a maximum of £5,000.
“Payment of a penalty does not remove the requirement to provide an EPC,” says Philip, “And the prospective recipient cannot validly agree to waive the right to receive an EPC.”
EPCs were introduced for premises with a floor area over 10,000m² on 6 April 2008 and for premises with a floor area over 2,500m² on 1 July. From 1 October 2008 all premises will require an EPC.
News release dated: 27th July 2008
Commercial Property Enquiries
- Philip Rowland at Adams & Remers Solicitors
- Tel: 01273 403238
- Matt Baldwin at Coast Communications
- Tel: 01233 503200 / 07930 439739