Commercial EPCs

The EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) has now made it compulsory for commercial buildings to have an Energy Performance Certificate at the time of a new tenancy or sale. Until the 4th January 2009 the seller or landlord must have instructed a suitably qualified person to complete an EPC. After 4th January 2009 it will be a legal requirement to provide an EPC with sales or letting information, or at the latest, when the building is viewed.

Failure to comply will result in a fine of 12.5% of the rateable value of the building with a default penalty of £750 where the formula cannot be applied. The range of penalties goes from a minimum of £500 upto a maximum of £5,000.

Residential Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

It is now a legal requirement for all properties being sold or offered for rent to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is as a result of a directive initiated by the EU to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The directive has become law, and as such every EU country must have systems in place to ensure that EPCs are completed for all residential and commercial buildings at the point of sale or rent.

In the UK the Government has already dealt with this requirement in respect of the sales process for residential property by making the EPC a part of the Home Information Pack (HIP). For rental property it became mandatory to have an EPC for any property being marketed for rent from 1st October 2008.

Sellers and landlords will need to provide an EPC for all prospective purchasers and tenants, providing a hard copy to the final purchaser or tenant. Failure to do so may result in a fine of £200 or more from Trading Standards Officers.

Display Energy Certificates (DECs)

From 1st October 2008 public sector occupiers of larger buildings, have had to present a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) in a prominent place clearly visible to the public.

A DEC may only be issued by an accredited energy assessor. It shows the energy performance of a building based on actual energy consumption (Operational Rating) as recorded annually over periods up to the last three years . This type of energy certificate needs to be updated each year. This obligation was introduced by law and is to be enforced by Trading Standards Officers. The penalty is L500 for failing to display a DEC at all times in a prominent place clearly visible to the public and £1,000 for failing to have possession of a valid Advisory Report. In addition to these penalties, it is still necessary to commission the documents.

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