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Commercial EPCs

Energy Performance Certificates are required for all buildings over 50m2, with very few exceptions, when they are constructed, let or sold. Some modification and extension projects will also require an EPC.

Commercial Energy Performance Certificates have been implemented by the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) as part of the European Union’s effort to tackle climate change. A similar rating system to that found on white goods (fridges etc) has been put into practice on buildings, in the hope that prospective buyers/tenants will, in time, only be interested in the buildings with ratings of C or above. This will in turn encourage owners to carry out green renovations, eliminating poorly performing buildings from the market & reducing our CO2 emissions as a country.

The EPC produces an Asset Rating for the building on a scale from A to G, where A is more energy efficient, down to G which is less energy efficient. These are accompanied by a numeric rating which can be used to compare buildings more accurately. Comparison ratings are also shown on the EPC to indicate how the building compares with a newly built example and a building typical of the existing stock in the UK. All EPCs must be accompanied by standard Recommendation Report in which the client is advised how the energy rating of the property can be improved. These are automatically produced by the modelling software but can be edited by the energy assessor if necessary.

An EPC must be provided by an assessor who is both technically qualified and a member of an accreditation scheme. Buildings are ranked by their complexity into Level 3, 4 or 5 and the assessor is trained and accredited to corresponding levels. This means that a Level 3 assessor can only produce EPCs for Level 3 buildings; a Level 4 assessor for Level 3 & 4 buildings and so on. For the most complex buildings, a Level 5 assessor must produce the EPC. All completed EPCs are lodged on a central database for use in the sale or let, and remain valid for 10 years unless updated in the meantime.

The EPC and Recommendation Report are produced from an energy model of the building which is created using specialised Government-approved software. The energy assessor creates the model from the following information:

  • The shape and size of the building and its internal layout taken from scale drawings or physical measurements taken on site
  • The activity being carried out in each part of the building, such as cellular offices, workshops, retail space etc
  • The detailed construction of the building including glazing, taken from drawings, specification and/or the site inspection
  • Details of the lighting system in use in each part of the building
  • Details of the heating, cooling and ventilation system in use in each part of the building

Having created the model, the assessor uses the software to produce an Asset Rating for the building as printed on the EPC. The EPC and Recommendation Reports are lodged on the central government database. Copies of the EPC and Recommendation Report can be downloaded from the register using the Report Number. For a more comprehensive methodology, click here.

Should you require further information concerning the background of EPCs & their implementation; the Department for Communities and Local Government produce a comprehensive guide to EPCs which can be downloaded here.

For advice and a free quotation, call L’atelier now on 020 33 880 880.


Q. When do I need an EPC?

A. An EPC is required on the construction, modification, sale or lease of a commercial property that is greater than 50m². There are some specific exceptions that are detailed in our other FAQs.

Q. Who is responsible for providing EPCs?

A. It is the responsibility of the seller to provide the EPC for a building that is to be sold, the landlord for a building that is to be let, or the developer if the building is new or being modified.

Q. What are the penalties for not having an EPC?

A. Fines for the failure to produce an EPC can be anything from £500 to £5,000 depending on property rateable value and an EPC will still be required.

Q. Where do I get an EPC?

A. An EPC must be produced and signed off by an Energy Assessor who is a member of a Government approved accreditation scheme. L’atelier’s Energy Assessors achieved their accreditation with Stroma.

Q. How long is an EPC valid for?

A. An EPC is valid for up to 10 years– unless a refurbishment of the building fabric or services has been undertaken, in which case a new EPC can be commissioned to provide a more up to date rating of the building.

Q. How much does an EPC cost?

A. The cost of an EPC depends on the size of the building, the type of building it is (office, warehouse etc) and whether any floor plans are available to the assessors. Call one of our offices today for a quote or visit our website www.l-atelier.co.uk, complete the enquiry form and we will generate a quote based on the information given.

Q. What does an EPC show?

A. The EPC shows an ‘asset rating’ which is a numerical indication of the energy performance of the building based on its standardised use. It takes into account the performance of the fabric of the building as well as its services, such as heating, ventilation and lighting. The Asset Rating is shown in a graphical format on a scale from A (more efficient) to G (less efficient) as well as giving a numerical value. A Recommendation Report is also produced which is a list of changes that, if made to the property, would improve the asset rating, together with a likely payback period. L’atelier can provide advice and guidance on how best to improve asset ratings, following an assessment of the property.

Q. What happens if there are separate units within one building?

A. If there is a common heating system, the whole building can be certified as one. An EPC can also be commissioned on one part of a building; for example where there may be several floors leased to various tenants and one becomes vacant.

Q. What is the legislation behind EPCs?

A. Energy Performance Certificates for commercial buildings became mandatory within the UK through Statutory Instrument SI 2007 No. 991. This implements the requirements of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), Article 7.

Q. What is the point of an EPC?

A. A Commercial EPC is intended to inform potential buyers or 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 a building. Potential buyers or tenants will be able to get an impartial report of the energy use and the likely costs of the existing building. This makes it easier to compare the likely energy costs of occupying seemingly similar buildings. A commercial EPC will also allow sellers and landlords to gain an insight into the areas where energy performance and efficiency could be improved within their property.

Q. Are there any buildings that don’t require EPCs?

A. Energy Performance Certificates are not required on some types of building, such as places of worship, those with low energy demand and those scheduled for demolition. See our other FAQs for more details or give us a call if you require any advice.

Q. What is the process for producing an EPC?

A. The general process for producing an EPC is set out below: • Instruction given • Drawings provided (where available) • Site Inspection • Data Capture • Energy Modelling • Quality Assurance Audit • Lodgement on central government database • Certificates sent to Client For a more detailed explanation of the process involved, please see our “Method” section.

Q. Where can I obtain an authoritative guide to EPCs so that I can brief my clients and tenants?

A. Go to http://www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/pdf/guidanceondwellings.pdf to download a comprehensive guide to EPCs

Q. If I sell a company which owns a number of properties, do I need EPCs for the buildings in the portfolio?

A. No- some transactions are not considered to be a sale or let and an EPC is not therefore required for: • Lease renewals or extensions • Compulsory purchase orders • Sales of shares in a company where buildings remain in company ownership • Lease surrenders

Q. I intend to sell a building for demolition; does it need an EPC?

A. No- an EPC is not required on sale or rent for buildings due to be demolished. The seller or landlord should be able to demonstrate that: • The building is to be sold or let with vacant possession • The building is suitable for demolition and the resulting site is suitable for redevelopment • They believe, on reasonable grounds that a prospective buyer or tenant intends to demolish the building (e.g. on evidence of an application for planning permission) If you require any further clarification please give us a call.

Q. Can I have an EPC produced for an unconditioned building?

A. Yes- although an EPC is not required for such buildings, CLG will allow them to be lodged on a voluntary basis.

Q. I am selling a building with a retail unit on the ground floor with a flat over it. Can I have a single EPC for the whole building?

A. Yes, but only if access to the flat is via the retail unit; if there is separate access to the residence then two EPCs will be required, one for the retail unit and one for the flat.

Q. I am selling a small lock-up shop which is part of a terrace of four. Individually they are only 42m² each so do I still need an EPC?

A. Yes- the lock-up unit itself is not stand-alone and therefore requires an EPC because the entire terrace is regarded as the “building” for the purposes of the legislation. The 50m² rule applies to the whole terrace.

Case Studies

  • The White House

    The White House

    L’atelier were instructed by West Faulkner Associates to provide an Energy Performance Certificate for 259m² office building in Surrey, & were subsequently requested to recommend measures to improve the rating for the building... More

  • Easter Park

    L’atelier were instructed to provide on-construction EPCs for a complex of industrial buildings in Berkshire totalling 145,000 square feet... More

  • Empress State Building

    L’atelier were instructed by our client to produce Energy Performance Certificates for the 57,000 square metres of office space, as well as two ancillary buildings on site.More

  • The Green

    L’atelier were instructed by Easter Group to provide on-construction Energy Performance Certificates for a 46,000 sq ft office village in West Berkshire.More

  • Greystoke Manor

    L’atelier were instructed to produce an Energy Performance Certificate for a residential care home of approx. 600 m², situated in West Sussex...More

  • 11 The Quadrangle

    L’atelier were instructed to produce an Energy Performance Certificate for a Warehouse/Office combination building of approx. 2200m2, of which 1800m2 is warehouse space...More

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