Commercial EPC Exemptions

If you are marketing your business or commercial property for sale or to let, you will require a current Non Domestic Energy Performance Certificate. This will be provided to prospective buyers or tenants at the point of enquiry (usually in the form of the ‘rating’ on the sales particulars). It must ultimately be provided to tenant or buyer and usually forms a part of the contract upon exchange. Even if the property is being marketed via a commercial agent, for enforcement purposes, it is the owner/landlord who is liable if an EPC is not commissioned.

Although most properties will require a commercial EPC when they are sold or let, there a few exceptions to this rule which are outlined in the legislation.

The exceptions to a commercial EPC are as follows:

  • Buildings used primarily or solely as places of worship
  • Temporary buildings with a planned time of use of two years or less
  • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand (but note: removal of existing heating systems to take advantage of this exemption is likely to be seen as an attempt to avoid regulation and is usually not tolerated)
  • Standalone buildings with a total floor area of less than 50m2 which are not dwellings
  • Particular buildings officially protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historic merit

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From our experience the interpretation of this legislation has caused some confusion, most solicitors and professional agents will insist on you providing a Non Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (A commercial EPC), even when the legislation at first reading indicates it may not be required. This is done in order to ensure compliance with all current legislation as there are circumstances within the scenarios above where an EPC has been necessary as the legislation is a little vague on the exemptions. This is always done to reduce any possibility of potential future legal action against you.