Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are issued by energy assessors belonging to a government-approved accreditation scheme. EPCs quantify a building's calculated potential energy performance in the form of an 'asset rating', which is presented in a form similar to the system used to rate white goods - such as fridges and washing machines.
If you are buying or renting business premises, looking at EPCs enables you to consider energy efficiency and potential energy costs.
Prospective buyers or tenants must receive an EPC before they buy, let or sublet premises. Owners of newly built or refurbished business property must receive an EPC before they accept a property from a builder.
EPCs are needed for buildings with multiple tenancies and let for different uses, with a mixture of retail, office and/or residential accommodation.
EPCs are not needed for:
- lease renewals or extensions
- compulsory purchase orders
- sales of shares in a company where buildings remain in company ownership
- lease surrenders
- temporary buildings with a planned time of use less than two years
- standalone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50 metres squared that are not dwellings
- industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand
Selling or letting an existing business property
For the sale or rent of an existing property, it is the owner or landlord who is responsible for providing an EPC to any prospective buyer or tenant. This should be done no later than the day on which a viewing is carried out, or written information is provided about the premises. At the very latest, an EPC must be provided when a contract to sell or let premises is arranged.
Existing occupiers and tenants will not require an EPC unless they sell, assign or sublet their interest.
When letting business premises, the number of EPCs will vary according to the use and tenancy arrangements of each building. For more information, see the page in this guide on Energy Performance Certificates for rented business premises.
Newly built or refurbished premises
When constructing new buildings, or carrying out certain types of refurbishment or modification work, it is the person responsible for construction - usually the builder - who must provide an EPC. For more information, see the page in this guide on Energy Performance Certificates for newly built business premises.