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Commercial Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

New Regulations and Impact on Landlords

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an official document that measures the energy efficiency of a property.

The EPC follows an efficiency rating, on a scale from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient), which depends on factors such as age, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation.

EPCs were first introduced in England and Wales in 2008 and are required whenever a property is built, sold, or rented.

They also include a recommendation report that highlights energy efficiency improvements that can be made to achieve a higher rating, such as installing energy efficient lighting, double glazing or adding loft insulation. EPCs are an essential part of buying, selling, and renting commercial property and non-dwellings in the UK and are valid for 10 years before they need to be renewed.

Energy performance certificates (EPCs) are important for ensuring buildings are meeting government targets and helping prospective owners and tenants compare the energy efficiency of buildings.

An Energy Performance Certificate gives detailed information about a property’s energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions. To receive an EPC, you must get an approved energy assessor to perform an energy assessment survey. By carrying out internal and external inspections, the assessor will determine the energy efficiency of the building and therefore provide suggestions that can improve the property’s rating.

EPCs allow owners, buyers, tenants, and occupiers to easily understand the energy costs and environmental impact of each building. EPCs need to be available before a property is marketed for sale or rent.

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) requires all non-domestic rented buildings in England or Wales to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC):

  • a. From April 2018 it was unlawful to agree a new lease for a property that was below an E Rating
  • b. From April 2023 all privately rented property must be an E rating or better
  • c. In 2030 the minimum standard will be a C rating The government has identified the building sector as a critical contributor to CO2 emissions, which might hinder the UK from meeting its carbon reduction targets.

Under the current regulations, landlords are prohibited from letting properties with an EPC rating below E. The non-compliance penalty for less than three months is equivalent to 10% of the property value, from a minimum of £5,000 up to a maximum of £10,000. For landlords in breach of the MEES rules for more than three months, the penalty rises to 20% of the property value, from a minimum of £10,000 up to a maximum of £150,000.

A Display Energy Certificate (DEC) shows the energy performance of a public building based on actual energy consumption for the previous 12 months.

DECs show the energy performance of public properties such as offices, community centres, and hospitals, rated on a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least.

The operational rating is calculated by an approved energy assessor, and it’s based on the actual amount of metered energy used by the building over the last 12 months. The DEC must be updated annually (if the floor area is more than 1,000 m2) or every 10 years (if the floor area is between 250m2 and 1,000m2).

HOW DO I GET AN EPC?

To receive an EPC, you must have an Energy Assessment Survey carried out at your property.

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A trained and registered EPC assessor collects information on heating systems, insulation, windows, etc. This information is calculated into a score, and you’re given a rating between an A (highest) and a G (lowest).

TIME FOR ACTION

How do the new government regulations impact landlords?

The new regulations coming into full force in April 2023 require landlords to have an EPC rating of E or higher.

With the UK fast approaching the net-zero deadline, the government is taking drastic measures to reduce carbon emissions caused by the construction industry. For this reason, it’s important to understand the new legislation around MEES and EPC to ensure compliance and avoid unnecessary fines.

  • From April 2023, it will be unlawful to lease out or renew a policy with a tenant if the commercial property has an EPC rating of F or lower.
  • From April 2030, it will be unlawful to lease out or renew a policy with a tenant if the commercial property has an EPC rating of B or lower.

Failure to make the necessary energy improvements could see landlords fined up to £150,000, depending on the length of the breach and the type of property. The proposed changes require landlords to carry out energy efficiency improvements in order to increase the EPC rating and ensure compliance with the current legislation.

Improving your building’s EPC rating

There are a number of steps you can take to improve your building’s energy efficiency, but always make sure to consult our independent team of energy assessors before any refurbishment works.

Possible ways you might be able to improve your EPC rating include:

  • Replacing the boiler by opting for a new energy-efficient boiler
  • Installing double glazing windows and doors to double glazing
  • Installing wall and roof insulation
  • Installing a renewable energy source
  • Installing more energy efficient lighting with lighting controls
  • Install a renewable energy source (e.g. solar panels, ground-source heat pumps)

If you need to bring your property up to the required standard to avoid non-compliance or want to improve your EPC rating further, we recommend speaking with one of our trusted assessors to get started.

GETTING STARTED

How can Manor Interior Solutions help?

With our new dedicated team of independent EPC and MEES assessors, Manor Interior Solutions can help you improve your EPC rating with refurbishment works carried out safely, efficiently, and on schedule. We offer end-to-end solutions, from your initial EPC assessment through to the final certification. A dedicated project manager will oversee the entire project to ensure timely and smooth execution.

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Speak with our trusted assessors to receive your EPC

Whenever you’re ready, our team is available to discuss your energy efficiency requirements and answer any questions you may have. Our team of experts will strive to understand your needs and present customised solutions to meet and exceed your expectations.

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