What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a certificate which demonstrates the energy rating of a building. AN EPC gives prospective buyers or tenant’s information about the energy efficiency of the building they’re buying or renting. A Europe-wide initiative it is part of an ongoing government programme to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint. Based on the carbon emissions the building is likely to produce, an energy rating from A to G is given, with A being very efficient and G the least efficient. All EPCs come with a recommendation report, which includes suggestions for using the building more efficiently and improving its energy efficiency, and indicates how long it will take to recoup through energy savings any outlay made.
Who is responsible for producing an EPC, who do they give it to and when?
The landlord, seller or, if it’s a new building, the party who constructed the building, is legally responsible for providing an EPC, regardless of whether an agent acts on their behalf. The certificate should be given to the prospective tenant or buyer at the earliest opportunity and no later than when a viewing is carried out, when written information is provided about the building, or in any event before entering into a contract to sell or let. If it’s a newly constructed building or an existing building is modified, the party responsible for construction or modification has to give the owner an EPC and recommendations report before building control will produce a certificate of completion
How do you obtain an EPC?
As soon as you think you might sell or let your property you need to arrange an energy assessment by a properly accredited assessor BakerLile makes it simple and straight-forward. We complete a survey Checklist to capture all the information we require to provide you with a quote.
What does an assessment entail?
Information is collected and collated about the building’s uses, dimensions, number of floors, amount and type of glazing, lighting, heating systems, fuel used and thermal efficiency of floors, walls and ceilings. Landlords and owners are given a copy of the EPC, which will have a reference number. The EPC is accessible on the register by providing this reference number.
How long is an EPC valid for?
EPCs for non-dwellings are valid for 10 years, although it might be worth doing a new energy inspection sooner if you install new heating and air conditioning systems, improve insulation or similarly improve energy efficiency.
How long does it take?
If the building owner has records of heating bills and the building plans then the assessor can do it “quite quickly” if they “know all this before they go. If it’s a shop it can be often be done in two hours. If it’s a factory it’s going to take a lot longer. Some premises can take weeks. Business retail parks will take four or five weeks.
What if you only own part of the building?
If the whole building shares one heating system then it needs one EPC and this can be used for any part of the building sold or rented. If it has separate parts with separate heating systems then an EPC should be made for any part offered for sale or let, although the EPC can be based on another part with a similar system. If a building has a common heating system and you own part of it, then the head landlord is obliged to provide an EPC for the whole building if you ask him.
What if there is a residential area, such as a flat above a shop?
That depends on whether there is a separate access area from which to access the shop and the flat. If there is, then the dwelling should have its own EPC. If the dwelling is only accessible through the non-dwelling (for example, if you have to go through a newsagent to reach the flat above), then one EPC can cover the whole premises.
What are the penalties for not having an EPC?
If a trading standards officer requests an EPC for a building constructed, sold or let and the responsible person does not provide it within seven days then they will be liable for a penalty charge notice. Failure to provide an EPC to a tenant or buyer will usually result in a penalty of 12.5% of the ratable value of the property.
Are there any exemptions?
Places of worship, such as churches or mosques, buildings with a planned time use of less than two years, standalone (Detached) units with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2 and buildings due to be demolished. Buildings which do not require the indoor climate conditioned, such as warehouses or those which house forging and other hot processes, food and drinks packaging or heavy engineering, are also exempt. Non-residential agricultural buildings that are heated for only a few days a year are usually exempt too. An unfurnished building without any heating or air conditioning services will still need an EPC if it has gas or electric meters, as these indicate an intention to condition the climate. Lease renewals or extensions, compulsory purchase orders and lease surrenders do not trigger the need for an EPC. An EPC does not have to be provided if the seller or landlord has reasonable grounds for believing that the buyer or tenant is unlikely to have sufficient funds or doesn’t have a genuine interest in buying or renting the building. They also don’t have to provide one if they are unlikely to sell to the prospective buyer.