An EPC is intended to inform potential buyers or tenants about the energy performance of a building, so they can consider energy efficiency as part of their investment or business decision to buy or occupy that building.
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Buildings requiring an EPC
An EPC is only required when a building is constructed, sold or rented out. For the purposes of the regulations, a building is defined as “a roofed construction having walls, for which energy is used to condition the indoor climate, and a reference to a building includes a reference to part of a building which has been designed or altered to be used separately”.
For a building to fall within the requirement for an EPC it must have a roof and walls and use energy to condition the indoor climate.
Services considered to condition the indoor climate are the following fixed services:
Heating, mechanical ventilation or air-conditioning. Although the provision of hot water is a fixed building service, it does not condition the indoor environment and would not, therefore, be a trigger for an EPC. The same argument applies to electric lighting.
Where a building is expected to have heating, mechanical ventilation or air conditioning installed, it will require an EPC based on the assumed fit-out in accordance with the requirements in Part L of the Building Regulations.
A building can be either the whole of a building or part of a building, where the part is designed or altered to be used separately.
A part of a building designed or altered to be used separately is where the accommodation is made or adapted for separate occupation. This could be indicated by the accommodation having its own access, separate provision of heating and ventilation, or shared heating and ventilation, but with the ability by the occupier to independently control those services. For a non-dwelling, the part could be deemed to be separate even if some facilities (i.e. kitchen and toilet facilities) were shared. An example might be a unit in a shopping centre or a floor in an office building.
What type of EPC should be provided?
In general terms the EPC provided or made available should reflect the accommodation being sold or rented out.
In terms of the requirement for an EPC, buildings can have multiple tenancies, differing lease agreements, various sub-letting arrangements and different uses (e.g. mixed retail, Residential and office accommodation). To determine the requirement for an EPC in a building, the following should be considered, although this is not an exhaustive list of the Individual circumstances which may arise.
- The requirement for non-dwellings to have an EPC on construction, sale or rent was introduced using a phased approach from 6 April 2008.
- The EPC shows the energy efficiency rating (relating to running costs) of a non-dwelling. The rating is shown on an A–G rating scale similar to those used for fridges and other electrical appliances.
- The EPC includes recommendations on how to improve the energy efficiency. There is no statutory requirement to carry out any of the recommended energy efficiency measures stated. The EPC may also include information showing which of these measures would be eligible for finance under the Green Deal scheme, if required.
- EPCs for non-dwellings must be produced by an accredited non-domestic energy assessor, who is a member of a government approved accreditation scheme.
- The seller or landlord must provide an EPC free of charge to a prospective buyer or tenant at the earliest opportunity. A copy of the EPC must also be provided to the successful buyer or the person who takes up the tenancy.
- Estate agents and other third parties must ensure that an EPC has been commissioned before they can market a property for sale or rent.
- In addition, all advertisements in the commercial media must clearly show the energy rating of the building (where available).
- EPCs are valid for 10 years and can be reused as required within that period. A new EPC is not required each time there is a change of tenancy, or the property is sold, provided it is no more than 10 years old. Where more than one is produced, the most recent EPC is the valid one.
- EPCs to be displayed in commercial premises larger than 500m² that are frequently visited by the public, and where one has previously been produced for the sale, construction or renting out of the building.