An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC, determines the energy efficiency rating of a commercial or domestic property. Energy surveys are carried out by qualified Domestic Energy Assessors (DEA) or Non-Domestic Energy Assessors (NDEA), who have been trained and accredited to identify and report on energy saving aspects of a property, and in particular the property’s green credentials.
Energy performance is rated by energy use per square-metre of flooring, while energy efficiency is measured via projected fuel costs and CO2 emissions. All properties are assessed in line with the UK’s Standard Assessment Procedure to ensure both accuracy and best industry practice. The EPC will also outline areas that can be improved, and suggest practical recommendations to enhance energy performance.
An EPC enables a potential buyer, tenant or leaseholder to understand the energy ratings and potential costs of inhabiting or working from a property. In 2008, it was made a legal requirement to present an EPC if your home or commercial property is up for sale or lease. Non-compliance can result in a big fine, payable to Trading Standards. If it’s your intention to sell or rent property, you will need a valid commercial or residential EPC – and it is your responsibility as the owner or landlord to arrange this energy inspection.
You don’t need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you can demonstrate that the building is any of these:
- listed or officially protected and the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it
- a temporary building only going to be used for 2 years or less
- used as a place of worship or for other religious activities
- an industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that doesn’t use much energy
- a detached building with a total floor space under 50 square metres
- due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant planning and conservation consents
When looking for an energy survey provider, don’t forget that only qualified, accredited energy assessors offer legal EPC services. Companies like Direct Energy Surveys have all the necessary qualifications and are up-to-date with the latest energy legislation to ensure the best outcome for their clients. If you’re unsure about an energy inspector, speak to Trading Standards; or you can find details of all registered energy assessors on www.epcregister.com
A residential or commercial Energy Performance Certificate is valid for ten years, or until you replace it with a newer version. You don’t need a new EPC every time you lease your property as the EPC covers the building, not the tenancy period. Just ensure your EPC is still valid!
It’s important to note that ultimate responsibility lies with Trading Standards. That said, in most circumstances you’ll find that your solicitors will ask to see any relevant EPC information before commercial contracts are finalised. Similarly, an estate agent will want a domestic EPC report before agreeing to put your property on the market. Don’t forget – you will be fined if Trading Standards discover that no EPC is available!