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EPC Regulations For Commercial Property

Owners, buyers, landlords and tenants of commercial property have a significant responsibility to keep pace with the Government's determined efforts to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

In the area of ??energy performance, two regulatory frameworks, namely the EPC and MEES regulations, have emerged to address the respective concerns. However, navigating the implementation of these regulations is often confusing.

In the following discussion, we will provide a comprehensive overview of energy performance certificates and shed light on the upcoming obligations imposed on commercial properties.

What are the EPC regulations?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are legal requirements for commercial properties that aim to assess and quantify their energy efficiency. These regulations were introduced in accordance with the European Union Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD). The primary objective of the EPC regulations is to promote energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and guide businesses in making informed decisions about energy consumption and property improvements.

Importance of compliance with the EPC

EPC compliance offers several benefits to businesses. First, an energy-efficient commercial property can significantly reduce energy consumption, leading to lower utility bills and long-term cost savings. Second, it helps organizations contribute to global environmental sustainability goals by reducing their carbon footprint. Additionally, a high EPC rating can improve a property's marketability and attract environmentally conscious tenants and investors.

Do Commercial Properties Need An EPC?

Yes of course, commercial properties need an EPC. Current commercial EPC ratings for buildings range from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. Until recently, it was mandatory for non-residential properties to have a minimum E rating in order to secure a new lease.

These ratings play a crucial role in determining a building's energy performance and environmental impact. By promoting energy efficiency, EPC ratings encourage businesses to adopt sustainable practices and reduce their carbon footprint. Achieving higher ratings not only benefits the environment but also helps property owners and tenants save on energy costs in the long run.

What is the process for calculating EPC ratings?

EPC ratings are a unique measure of a property's energy efficiency, assessed through a comprehensive evaluation process. This assessment considers various factors such as the property's construction method, insulation, heating and cooling systems, and standardized assumptions about its usage. The rating is represented on a sliding scale, utilizing letters from A to G to indicate different efficiency bands, with A being the highest.

To determine the rating, the calculation revolves around estimating the property's "carbon dioxide equivalent emissions." This involves analyzing the potential emissions associated with heating systems, mechanical ventilation, air conditioning, power generation (if applicable), and refrigeration units within commercial buildings. By evaluating these factors, an accurate and personalized EPC rating can be assigned to the property.

What do EPCs need to be required?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) holds relevance in various scenarios:


  1. Sale or Rental of Existing Property: When an existing property is being sold or rented out, the property's energy performance rating is deemed influential in the decision-making process of potential buyers or tenants. Therefore, the seller or landlord must arrange for an EPC assessment before listing the property on the market.
  2. Construction of New Property: In the case of a newly constructed property, an EPC is necessary to evaluate its energy efficiency and assign an appropriate rating.
  3. Significant Alterations to Existing Property: If substantial modifications are made to an existing property that could potentially impact its energy efficiency, obtaining an updated EPC may be required to determine the revised energy performance rating.
  4. Property Subject to Green Deal Plan: When a property is involved in a Green Deal plan, which aims to improve its energy efficiency through financing and implementing energy-saving measures, an EPC is necessary to assess and document the improvements achieved.
  5. Mandatory Display of EPC: Certain properties are legally obligated to prominently display their EPC, allowing prospective buyers or tenants to readily access the energy performance information.
  6. Demonstrating Improved Energy Efficiency: If an individual or organization has undertaken energy efficiency improvements in a property and wishes to showcase their efforts, obtaining a new EPC will validate the enhanced energy performance rating. This may serve various purposes such as demonstrating Corporate Social Responsibility or generating more interest in the property.

It should be noted that the exact definition of "selling" or "renting out" may vary within the EPC Regulations. While lease renewals are generally not considered as sales or rentals, there is conflicting guidance regarding the requirement for an EPC during lease renewals when there is no existing valid EPC.

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations prohibit the letting of sub-standard commercial properties after an extension or renewal of an existing tenancy from 1st April 2018 onwards.

The more recent Non-domestic MEES Guidance suggests that a new EPC would be necessary upon renewal to a current tenant if no valid EPC exists. In light of this uncertainty, it may be advisable to obtain an EPC during lease renewals if there is no valid EPC currently in place. Lastly, an EPC remains valid for a period of 10 years.


Understanding and complying with EPC regulations is vital for commercial property owners and occupiers. By meeting the required energy efficiency standards, businesses can benefit from reduced energy costs, increased property value, and enhanced environmental sustainability. Improving EPC ratings through energy-saving measures not only contributes to regulatory compliance but also showcases an organization's commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability.

See Also: 
How to Get an EPC Certificate