Bionic’s guide to commercial EPCs

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates buildings on their energy efficiency. Ratings are given on a scale of A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least. Having a Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (NDEPC) and a Recommendation Report (RR) has been a legal requirement for all non-domestic buildings under construction, on sale or up for rent since October 1, 2008.

If you’re looking to buy or rent a property, an EPC will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to spend on energy - the higher the rating, the more energy efficient it is and the less you’ll spend on heating - and although EPCs are usually associated with domestic properties, all commercial properties should also have one.

What is a commercial EPC?

A commercial EPC rates non-domestic buildings on their energy efficiency. EPC regulations mean ratings are given on a scale of A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least energy efficient.

How to get an EPC for a  commercial property

In order to get a commercial EPC, a commercial energy assessor will need to carry out an inspection at your property. The type of assessor you’ll need will depend on the complexity and features of the building. You can find a local, accredited non-domestic energy assessor by visiting https://www.ndepcregister.com/searchAssessor.html 

Your assessor can then carry out any of the following:

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and Recommendation Report (RR)
  • Display Energy Certificate (DEC) and DEC Recommendation Report (DEC-RR)
  • Air Conditioning Inspection Report (AC-REPORT) and Air Conditioning Inspection Certificate (AC-CERT)

You can view the EPC and RR for any commercial property from the non domestic EPC register by entering the postcode at https://www.ndepcregister.com/reportSearchAddressByPostcode.html

How much does a commercial EPC certificate cost?

You can expect to pay upwards of around £99 for a commercial EPC, but the cost will vary according to the type and size of building that is being assessed. 

In general, the simpler the use of a property, the lower the cost of the EPC - getting an EPC for a single space such as a warehouse should be cheaper than and an office space that has been divided into work stations, meeting rooms and breakout areas.

How long is a commercial EPC valid for?

A commercial EPC is valid for 10 years. If your EPC expires, you’re only legally required to apply for a new one if you’re looking to renew tenancy agreements, create new tenancies or sell the property - a new EPC is not required simply because an existing EPC has expired. 

If you are a commercial landlord, you’re still required to make sure your property meets certain EPC requirements and energy efficiency standards, regardless of whether or not your building needs a new EPC.

Do you need to display a commercial EPC?

If your business premises meets all of the three conditions below, then you’ll need to display your EPC by fixing it to the wall in a prominent area:

  • The total useful floor area is more than 500 square metres
  • The building is visited by the public
  • An EPC has been produced for the building's sale, rental or construction

What is the minimum EPC for a commercial property?

Legal minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for commercial buildings were introduced in April 2018, as part of the Energy Act. Although F and G are still the lowest ratings available, if you’re looking to lease or sell a commercial property, it must have a rating no lower than E.

As of April 1, 2023, you must not continue to let any commercial properties that don’t meet an E on their EPC.

What are the penalties for non-compliance with commercial EPC regulations?

If you don’t comply with the current commercial EPC guidelines, you could find yourself on the end of a hefty fine. Penalties for non-compliance are based upon the rateable value of a property:

  • If a non-compliant property has been let for three months or less, the penalty is based upon 10% of its rateable value, from a minimum fine of £5,000 and up to a maximum of £50,000.
  • If a non-compliant property has been let for more than three months, the penalty is based upon 20% of its rateable value, from a minimum fine of £10,000 up to a maximum of £150,000.

If you try to get out of having an EPC by providing false or misleading information to the PRS exemption register, or you don’t follow a subsequent compliance notice, you can be fined up to £5,000.

When is an EPC not required?

Not all commercial buildings need an EPC certificate, and your property will be exempt if it falls into any of the following categories:

  • A place of worship.
  • A temporary building that will be in use for less than two years.
  • A stand-alone building with total useful floor space of less than 50 square metres.
  • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy.

In some cases, you might not need an EPC for business premises if your building is due to be demolished.

It’s also worth noting that regulations apply to tenancies of between six months and 99 years, and so holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than four months a year or is let under a licence to occupy is also exempt

There is also a ‘devaluation’ exemption, which means you’ll not have to make any changes to your building if they will devalue it. All exemptions must be pre-registered on the exemptions register and will last for five years once registered.

Does a listed commercial building need an EPC?

If your commercial property is a listed building - meaning it’s of special architectural or historic interest considered to be of national importance and is listed on the National Heritage List for England - it doesn’t need a commercial EPC certificate if energy improvement requirements would 'unacceptably alter' the property's character or appearance.

Why switch energy with Bionic?

Making sure your buildings energy efficiency standards are up to scratch is a great way to save energy and cut the cost of your energy bills, but if you’re on an expensive commercial gas and electricity deal then the rates you’re paying will quickly eat into these savings.

That’s why it pays to get in touch with the tech-enabled experts at Bionic - we’ll compare deals from our panel to make sure your business is on the best rates from one of our trusted suppliers.

To start a quote, pop your postcode in the box at the side of the page, or give us a call on 0800 078 3494.