EPC Question & Answers


Frequently Asked Questions

 

EPC’s - Will they affect my building?

 

From 1st October 2008 legislation came into force requiring all commercial buildings newly constructed or for sale or rent to have an Energy Performance Certificate. If you own a commercial building and plan to
sell or rent it then by law you will be required to obtain an EPC before you
market it.

 

If an existing lease is assigned will I
need to obtain an EPC?

 

Yes. An assignment of an existing lease is a disposal of a legal interest and so will need an EPC exactly as a sale or letting would.

 

What if I don’t have an EPC before I
agree the sale or lease of my property?

 

The legal representative of the proposed purchaser or tenant will insist on the production of the EPC prior to legal completion.
Irrespective of this however, there are in addition financial penalties for not
having an EPC. This is currently fixed at 12.5% of the rateable value of the
building with a minimum penalty of £500. The EPC will still be required. The law is changing in April 2012 to ensure that before the property is marketed it has to have an EPC. The Estate Agent or representative will be held responsible for this and could be liable to prosecution via The Office of Fair Trading if not upheld.

 

Will I need an EPC on all my leased
properties immediately?

 

The requirement for obtaining an EPC arises only on the construction, sale or let of a commercial building. Those buildings which are let under leases which were entered into prior to the commencement of the legislation will not require an EPC.

 

Are there any buildings exempt from
requiring an EPC?

 

There are certain exemptions, such as places of religious worship, stand alone (detached) properties of less than 50 m2, certain agricultural or industrial buildings with very low energy consumption, temporary buildings with a planned use of less than 2 years, and buildings which are to be demolished ( you would be required to prove your intention to demolish).

 

I have a building which is multi-let. Do
I need an EPC for each unit?

 

This depends on the degree to which the occupants of the units have control over access and the heating and ventilation system. Where there is no separate or controllable access or where the heating and ventilation systems are shared and not capable of individual control, an EPC for the whole building will be required. Where there is control over access and either
a separate heating system or there exists an ability to control a shared
system, then an EPC would only be required on the particular unit being let or
sold.

 

What data will the assessor record?

 

The assessor will take detailed measurements of the whole of the building, including individual room areas, room heights and wall and glazing dimensions. In addition detailed notes will be made on all major
services within the building including heating, ventilation and air
conditioning. Details will be taken of the type of construction of the building
together with its use, location and orientation.

 

How long will the survey take?

 

Due to the detailed nature of the inspection a survey can take up to several hours depending on the size & detail of the building.
The process is carried out over two parts. There is the site visit & then
the computer modelling which actually produces the certificate. Once this is
produced it is lodged with Landmark (government registry) and remains in place for ten years unless it is superseded for some reason.

 

Will the assessor need access to all
parts of the building?

 

Yes. It is important that the assessor has access to all rooms in the building. Where there is restricted access to a part of the building then you will need to have arranged access for the assessor prior to arrival. Inability to gain access to all relevant areas may result in the inspection being cancelled.

 

How does the rating system work?

 

All the information collected during the inspection is entered into a computer programme which analyses all the data input and provides an assessment referenced against other similar ‘benchmark’ properties.
Hence an office in Manchester is compared against a typical office in the same location. The EPC will show the asset rating for your building together with the asset rating for the ‘benchmark’ building in order that you can compare the two. In addition to the EPC you will be given a recommendation report which will outline certain actions you could take in order to improve the buildings asset rating.

 

How long does the EPC last?

 

The EPC lasts 10 years unless the building is significantly
altered in which case a new EPC would be required.