Forthcoming changes to EPC Certificates for Commercial Properties
What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An EPC is a certificate issued by an assessor which provides information on the energy efficiency of a property. It provides a rating between A – G (A being the best) and in most cases is accompanied by a recommendation report indicating what steps could be taken to improve the rating. It is generally valid for a period of 10 years from the date of assessment. There are some exemptions to holding an EPC i.e. for some listed buildings, religious properties, some agricultural properties etc. and these should be checked carefully.
When selling or leasing a property, the seller or landlord, is obligated by law to make available a copy of the current EPC. Currently all commercial properties being rented are expected to have an EPC with a rating of A to E but there is no legal requirement in this respect.
Obligations from 1 April 2023
From 1 April 2023 there will be a prohibition on landlords letting commercial properties with a rating of F or G. Failure to comply will put the landlord in breach of regulations and liable to penalties.
Landlords should therefore take steps now to ensure that all commercial properties in their portfolio hold a valid EPC with a rating of A to E. If the property does not currently meet this requirement the landlord must take steps to implement any recommendations in the EPC recommendation report to improve the energy efficiency of the property to bring it in line with the requirements, before 1 April 2023, to avoid risk of penalty.
There are some limited exemptions which we can advise on but any exemption should be registered on the PRS Exemption Register before the deadline.
Obligations from 1 April 2025 and going forward
It is highly likely that further tightening of the standards will take place on 1 April 2027 requiring all EPCs to have a rating of A to C. Landlords will have to either demonstrate they comply by 1 April 2025 or use the following two years to ensure that they do comply.
Then again in 2030 it is suggested that the rating requirement will tighten further to A or B only with landlord’s needing to either hold a compliant EPC by 1 April 2028 or take steps to make improvements so that they comply by the ultimate deadline of 1 April 2030.
If you would like any further information on these requirements or you believe that you may be eligible for an exemption and wish to discuss, please do get in touch with Karen Auckland in the first instance via firstname.lastname@example.org.