What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate gives detailed information about buildings or property’s energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions.
To receive an EPC, you must have an Energy Assessment Survey carried out at your commercial building or property. Your Energy Assessor will perform internal and external inspections to determine how energy efficient your building is and what possible level of efficiency is achievable if improvements are made.
Some of the things your assessor will take a look at are:
- Roofs, walls and insulation
- Boilers and heating systems
- Renewable energy devices (solar panels or wind turbines)
- The building measurements
- The year the property was built
Once your assessor has performed a full inspection, they will put together your EPC and grade your building’s energy performance: ‘A’ being the most efficient and ‘G’ being the least.
How long does an EPC last?
Once your EPC has been issued, it is then valid for ten years. Once it runs out, you do not need to get a new one unless you are entering a new tenancy with new tenants or selling the property.
Your EPC will also come with a recommendation report containing advice and improvements that will make your property more energy-efficient. Your assessor’s suggestions may include:
- Installing cavity wall and loft insulation
- Draught-proofing windows and doors
- Insulating pipes and tanks
- Installing a condensing boiler
- Reducing water usage
- Considering energy efficient glazing
- Considering renewable energy technology such as a wood fuelled heater, solar panels or wind turbines
- Installing low-energy usage light bulbs
When do I need to renew my EPC?
If your Energy Performance Certificate expires, you are not automatically required to get a new one.
You will only need to get a new EPC if you intend to let to a new tenant or wish to sell the commercial building or property.
Once an EPC reaches the ten-year point and expires, there is currently no automatic requirement for a new one to be commissioned. A further EPC will only be required the next time a trigger point is reached, i.e. when the property is next sold or let to a new tenant.
What happens if I don’t have an EPC?
Your building or property cannot be legally let if it doesn’t have a valid Energy Performance Certificate. If you are found to have no EPC, you may be fined up to £5,000 by your local authorities.
When the regulations are updated in 2025, the penalty for not having a valid EPC of ‘C’ or above will be raised to £30,000.
You must provide your tenant with a copy of the EPC at the beginning of the tenancy or – if you have renewed the certificate whilst they’re in situ – at the earliest opportunity.
As a landlord, you are also legally obligated to give your tenant a copy of the government’s How to Rent guide and your EICR and Gas Safety Certificate. If you don’t supply your tenant with these legal documents, you won’t be able to issue a Section 21 notice.