A1. When do I need an EPC?
Before you start marketing for sale or to let, the leasehold or freehold of your residential or commercial premises, or when you assign or grant a commercial lease. For residential properties, you will require to produce a valid certificate before marketing the property for rental.
A2. Who has to get an EPC?
The legal obligation is on the landlord or owner of the freehold; however in practice if you are a tenant who needs your landlord’s consent to an assignment of lease, your landlord is likely to pass the cost onto you.
A3. What’s the difference between a Residential EPC and a Commercial EPC?
A commercial EPC involves a complete measurement survey of the building, measuring the u-value of the windows, the energy efficiency of the lighting systems, the efficiency of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and the zoning of the building. Residential surveys requires reduced survey taking measurements, heating, glazing and type of construction of the building. Commercial surveys takes longer and time consuming exercise and costs more.
A4. How long are EPCs valid for?
The Energy Performance Certificate is valid for 10 years.
A5.Do I need a new EPC every time I let my building?
As long as a valid EPC exists for the building, you can provide this to prospective tenants. An EPC is valid for 10 years and during this period you can provide the same EPC to prospective tenants. This EPC will no longer be valid if the alterations have been made which will affect energy efficiency rating.
A6. Do I need a new EPC every time I sell a building?
As long as a valid EPC exists for the building, you can provide this to prospective buyers. An EPC is valid for 10 years and during this period you can provide the same EPC to prospective buyers as long as the conditions of the building are the same otherwise a new one will have to be done.
A7. Can a prospective tenant or buyer waive their right to receive an EPC?
The relevant person has a duty to make available an EPC to a prospective buyer or tenant and will be liable to a penalty charge if he fails to do so, irrespective of whether the prospective buyer or tenant purports to waive an entitlement to receive the certificate.
A8. Do I need an EPC if I have exchanged contracts to sell or let before the date on which the Regulations apply to my building, but have not yet completed the transaction?
The last point at which the duty to make available an EPC may be satisfied is before a prospective buyer or tenant enters into a contract to sell or rent the building ie upon exchange of contracts. The Department considers that this is the point which determines whether or not the Regulations are in force in relation to a transaction. In this case the contract has been exchanged before the date on which the Regulations apply to the building and the duty to make available an EPC will not arise.
A9. How much is the cost for an EPC?
Residential EPC’s are cheaper than commercial. The cost of an EPC can vary depending upon size, location and usage of the building. The cost will also depend upon how many zones there are within a building. Call now for no obligation advice and quotation.
A10. What software can be used to produce EPCs?
Only software approved by Communities and Local Government can be used to produce EPCs which an accredited assessor will have access to.
A11. How can I check if my energy assessor is properly qualified?
The accreditation bodies ensure their members are properly qualified and competent to conduct assessments. If you wish to check the accreditation details of your assessor, you should contact their accreditation body who should be able to verify that they are accredited to practise as an energy assessor. The website www.ndepcregister.com only shows properly qualified and accredited energy assessors. You should check they are suitably qualified for the type of building being assessed.
A12. Do I have to act on the recommendations?
You are under no obligation to act on the recommendations for energy improvements to the building. However, taking action on the recommendations is likely to improve the energy efficiency of your building, reduce your fuel bills, cut its carbon emissions and could make it more attractive to potential buyers or tenants in the future.
A13. What if a building is required urgently for rental and there is no time to commission an inspection?
This is permissible under the regulations if there is an emergency requiring a tenant’s urgent relocation. An EPC should be provided as soon as reasonably practicable after renting out the building.
A14. I’m selling a building for demolition – do I need an EPC?
If you can demonstrate the building is suitable for demolition and the resulting site is suitable for redevelopment and you believe on reasonable grounds that the prospective buyer or tenant intends to demolish the building, you do not need to provide an EPC. Generally this can be demonstrated by having the relevant planning permission or evidence that planning permission has been applied for.
A15. What happens if I don’t get an EPC?
Trading Standards can fine you 12.5% of the rateable value of the land with a minimum fine of £500 and a maximum fine of £5,000. They can keep fining you until you get an EPC. The solicitors acting for a purchaser of your business or freehold will require you to get an EPC before transaction is completed.
A16. My agent says that I don’t need an EPC, is he right?
No he’s wrong! Virtually all residential and commercial premises will need an EPC. If Trading Standards find that you don’t have one, will your agent be paying your fine?
A17. What will the assessor look at in the building?
It is expected that the assessors will look at the following factors:
For commercial EPC, thermal characteristics of the building, heating and hot water systems, air conditioning, artificial ventilation, built in lighting installations, the position and orientation of the building, solar systems, natural ventilation and indoor climatic conditions. For residential EPC, the survey will be reduced to measurements, heating and hot water, lighting, glazing and general construction type.
A18. What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
An EPC conveys summary information about the potential energy performance of a building, it's fabric and services. The Energy Performance Certificate gives an A to G rating - called the Asset Rating - of energy performance based on CO2 emissions and includes recommendations for improvement. EPCs will be accompanied by a Recommendation Report highlighting measures which, if adopted, have the potential to save energy and money. Energy Performance Certificates will remain valid for ten years unless the building is modified.
A19. Which commercial buildings need an EPC?
Energy Performance Certificates are required for Domestic building which will be let out or for sale. Non-domestic commercial buildings on construction, sale or rent, Some building modifications which result in the addition or removal of building parts and the extension or introduction of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) services will also require an EPC. The following types of building do not require an Energy Performance Certificate:
- Places of worship
- Stand-alone non-dwellings less than 50 m2
- Temporary buildings with a planned life less than two years
- Industrial premises with low energy use where the space is mostly not heated or cooled (such as process and heavy engineering workshops and stores with localised work-station conditioning)
- Buildings to be demolished within two years
A20. Who can produce EPCs?
Energy Performance Certificates and Recommendation Reports can only be produced by a qualified and accredited commercial energy assessor. The accreditation and competence of the assessor must be suitable for the complexity of the building. For non-dwellings this is on a scale of 3 to 5, ranging from a simply-serviced naturally ventilated building at level 3, to a complex air-conditioned or highly-serviced industrial building at level 5.
A21. Failure to provide an EPC
Can result in a fine of 12.5% of the rateable value of the building up to a maximum of £5,000. Enforcement is carried out by local Trading Standards departments.
A22. Does a care home need an EPC?
A care home will need an EPC only on construction, sale or rental as a whole building. There will normally be no EPC duties towards residents, for reasons explained in the question below. The whole building EPC would be based on SBEM, the method for assessing non-dwellings.
A23. Should an EPC be provided to every new resident of a care home?
Accommodation provided with attendant services and without a right of exclusive possession of any part of the premises would not usually constitute a letting in respect of which an EPC should be made available. Residency of care homes, student accommodation block, hotel rooms, prisons are likely to fall into this category.
Sheltered housing, by contrast, frequently contains self-contained apartments, either let or owned, with common rooms also provided for social and recreational purposes, with use of them also governed by the terms of the lease of the individual accommodation. In this circumstance an EPC would be required for each dwelling when rented or sold.
A24. If I rent office space or rooms on an occasional basis (ie for a meeting or conference), should I be provided with an EPC?
Renting rooms or office space on a purely occasional basis will usually not constitute a rental in respect of which an EPC should be made available.
A25.Would student accommodation blocks require an EPC?
An EPC would be required when the whole building is built, sold or rented for which SBEM (the method for non-dwellings) should be used.
Whether an EPC should be given to persons who take up residence would depend on the arrangements in the accommodation in question. No EPC is likely to be needed in a hostel or hall of residence open only to students of a particular institution and for the duration of their studies and subject to institutional discipline.
A26. If I am offered work on a farm and that employment comes with a tied building, should I expect to see an EPC? If so, for which part of the building?
If the accommodation is tied to an employment contract, this would not usually constitute a rental in respect of which an EPC should be made available.
A27. I am assessing a building that is made up of more than one dwelling. Do I use SAP?
Each dwelling should have an EPC. If a building has a mixture of self contained dwellings plus residential rooms (i.e. rooms plus shared kitchen/bathroom facilities), then the self contained dwellings should be assessed separately using RdSAP or SAP, but the remainder of the building should be assessed used SBEM.
Failure to provide an EPC can result in a fine of 12.5% of the rateable value of the building up to a maximum of £5,000. Enforcement is carried out by local Trading Standards departments.