If you build, sell, lease, rent, or otherwise alter the structure of a commercial building, then you will need to obtain a commercial (or non-domestic) Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). These certificates essentially indicate how energy efficient the building in question is. Of course, there is a lot more to these certificates than meets the eye. If you’re confused about the nature of EPCs, then continue reading to find out more.
What Are Commercial EPCs?
Energy Performance Certificates were implemented within the last decade to indicate an individual building’s qualitative energy efficiency. Each building that is surveyed is graded on a scale from A to G (with A being the best rating). Many surveyors, including Artisan Surveyors, use the government-approved Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) to conduct inspections of each building.
Why Do You Need a Commercial EPC?
There are essentially three legal reasons why you would need a commercial EPC. They are as follows:
1. Finishing construction on a building
2. Renting, selling, or leasing out the property
3. Providing or adding onto fixed heating, mechanical ventilation, and/or air conditioning systems
Failure to obtain a commercial EPC after doing one of these three things can result in a fine of between £500 and £5,000. Commercial EPCs are valid for 10 years (unless, of course, the third criterion applies to your situation). After 10 years, you will need to renew your certificate for it to be considered valid.
In certain situations, you will also need to display your certificate. If the building is visited frequently by the public, has a total area of 500 square meters of useful floor, or has already necessitated the production of an EPC because of sale, rent, or construction, then you will have to display the certificate.
Obtaining the Certificate
The only way to get a commercial EPC is to have your building surveyed by a commercial energy assessor. There are some assessors that exclusively offer commercial EPCs while others may offer a combination of domestic and commercial EPCs. There is a select list of accredited commercial energy assessors that you can choose from. It should be noted that the purchase of energy assessment services is not a guarantee of a good grade on the resultant certificate. The cost of the assessment also often depends on the size of the building in question.
Are There Any Exceptions?
As with anything else, there is always an exception to the rule. Not all commercial buildings require the production of a commercial EPC. These assessment laws do not apply to the following buildings:
- Buildings designed to be in use for less than two years
- Places of worship
- Officially protected buildings whose integrity would be functionally altered by meeting minimum energy efficiency requirements
- Buildings that are soon to be demolished
- Workshops, industrial locations, and/or non-residential agricultural edifices that expend limited energy
- Detached buildings with less than 50 square meters of floor space
Understanding the energy efficiency laws may be difficult, but obtaining a commercial EPC is required for most commercial buildings. If you are selling, renting, leasing, or adding mechanical variations to a commercial building, then you should contact an accredited assessor today.
By Harry Price
Harry Price is a writer and Painter that lives in a small costal town. He loves to travel, go fishing, and run – though not always in that order.