Welcome to ASG Commercial-EPC. The aim of this section is to provide free guidance on the legislation surrounding commercial EPCs and to put into readily understandable language the facts surrounding the need for EPCs. ASG Commercial is often your first point of contact when considering buying, selling and leasing a commercial property. The transaction of selling or leasing a commercial property is increasingly becoming more complex and we have taken on the role of EPC provision as an additional service to our clients. We now have qualified assessors and solicitors who would be happy to advise you on EPCs.

What the Law states:

  • With effect from 9th January 2013 all publicity material and media marketing forums must show the EPCs rating for any marketed non-domestic property whether being leased or sold.
  • EPCs need to be made available to anyone expressing a genuine interest in acquiring the property; the vendor has 9 days in which to provide the necessary documentation.
  • An EPC is to be provided where a non domestic property is sold or leased; there are some exceptions and our advisers with provide guidance on these.
  • EPCs can only be produced by qualified assessors working to specified standards.
  • For non-compliance with the relevant regulation pertaining to EPCs the local authority may issue a penalty charge notice of £1000.

Below are some questions and answers which will help you understand the basic detail of EPCs:

When do I need an EPC?

You commercial estate agent will require you to obtain an EPC prior to marketing your property. Therefore you should organise an EPC at the point of producing your marketing schedule.

Can I present my property for sale or lease without an EPC?

The simple answer is ‘No’. From the 9th January 2013 if your property is advertised without showing the EPC rating you may be liable to a penalty charge notice of £1,000 and then be directed to obtain an EPC.

How does this Law apply to someone selling or leasing a commercial property?

The regulations stipulate; “where a building is to be sold or let the owner must make a copy of a valid energy performance certificate for the building available free of charge to a prospective buyer or prospective tenant.”

What is a ‘prospective buyer or tenant’?

The regulations state; “a person becomes a prospective buyer or prospective tenant in relation to a building on the earliest of the dates when that person–

(a) requests any information about the building from the owner for the purpose of deciding whether to buy or lease the building;

(b) makes a request to view the building for the purpose of deciding whether to buy or lease the building; or

(c) makes an offer, whether oral or written, to buy or lease the building”.

In order to be certain to comply with the regulations you should make sure that at the point of going to the market you also instruct the production of the EPC. The EPC will need to be completed prior to the finalisation of the marketing particulars.

Who is liable should the EPC not be available?

In relation to these regulations it is the owner/vendor who is responsible for the provision of an EPC and it will be they who will be pursued in the event of a failure to comply with the regulations. If an EPC is requested by a prospective buyer or tenant and you fail to make one available within 9 days then you may receive a penalty charge notice from the enforcing authority (the local authority) for the sum of £1000.

Who can prepare EPCs?

Valid EPCs can be generated by assessors who have been trained by members of organisations that have agreed a protocol with Scottish Building Standards including the RICS, CIBSE and BRE. Assessors must undergo rigorous training and a separate independent assessment period prior to being qualified. The regulations in Scotland vary from other parts of the UK.

What is an EPC and what is it used for?

Buildings are measured and assessed in zones according to the use of each area and this data, along with details of the construction and services are fed into a computer programme which calculates the amount of CO2 produced per m2. This corresponds to a rating from A to G which is shown on the certificate. The EPC is represented in a short report which details what measures that can be undertaken to improve the energy performance of the building, along with details of the payback period involved.

What buildings are exempt from needing an EPC?

Places of worship are exempt from the regulations relating to public buildings and standalone buildings smaller than 50m2 are exempt from the requirement in respect of buying or leasing. Temporary buildings with an expected life of less than 2 years and unheated buildings are also exempt.

How long does an EPC last for?

An EPC remains valid for 10 years and once the 10-year period has lapsed an EPC is only required at the time of selling or letting the property. However, where changes to the building are made to the energy efficiency of the building during the 10-year period, it would be sensible to have the existing EPC revised to reflect the extant situation.