Who is in charge of creating Energy Certificates?
Energy Certificate may only be issued by energy assessors who are part of a government-approved system for that building and have the necessary credentials or expertise.
Energy assessors may be hired by a firm, such as an estate agency or energy company, or be independent traders to prepare an energy certificate using the appropriate government-approved software for building and valid for ten years.
You can hire an individual or a team to assist them in gathering information as long as the team members work under their supervision. They are required to visit company premises in-person to ensure the information acquired by others is accurate. Ensuring that their assistants have the technical ability to carry out the work, are ‘fit and professional,’ and have the necessary insurance, data, and output of EPCs and recommendation reports as if they had collected the data themselves. Ensure they act independently, conduct energy assessments, produce energy certificates, and lodge them with their accreditation scheme.
There are three categories of commercial buildings, and the energy assessor must be trained, certified, and accredited for the specific type of building and the related government-approved software:
- Level three addresses basic, existing structures, such as tiny buildings or dwellings converted to commercial usages, such as physicians’ practices, and use software based on the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM)
- Level four includes various new and existing assets, such as purpose-built office complexes and SBEM-based software.
- Level five addresses new and existing properties with complicated or unique energy efficiency feature that SBEM is not appropriate for, such as big office buildings and complex factories, and employs Dynamic Simulation Model tools.
Guide to Obtaining Energy Certificates When Renting Commercial Property
A landlord is responsible for ensuring that the building or component is modified or utilized independently as an Energy Certificate (EPC).
An energy certificate must be presented to potential renters as soon as feasible, i.e. when viewings are undertaken, written material is provided, but absolutely before the contract is signed. This is true even if an agency or other service provider represents them or gives the EPC to potential renters. Landlords should thus ensure that their agents are carrying out their responsibilities.
The quantity and kind of EPCs required will be determined by various factors, including whether you are leasing an office building floor by floor, several floors, or merely a portion of a level.
Other factors to consider are whether:
- Office buildings and mixed-use structures feature a shared heating system or two or more heating systems.
- Shops with homes above have separate access and no shared common areas or access.
As an example, suppose you are to prepare an EPC for each part of a building that is being offered separately for let, where the heating systems are separate – these individual energy certificates should reflect the services in the parts being offered for let, including a portion of the energy consumption of any common areas that exist solely to be offered separately for let
As a landlord, you can create an energy certificate for a full building if you let it as a whole, even if it contains components intended or adapted to be used separately with different heating systems. This EPC could not be used if a separate part of the property was afterwards offered for rental.
Energy Certificate Enforcement
District councils are enforcing Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations. They can request a copy of an energy certificate from the owner or landlord of the commercial property at any time up to six months after the date on which one should have been delivered. If this occurs, you must provide them with a copy of the energy certificate within seven days of receiving the request.
If you wish to prevent a fixed penalty notice or a delay while selling or renting out a building – or handing it over to the owners who commissioned it – you should do the following:
- Allow enough time to contract an energy assessor and ensure you have the relevant design and construction plans and paperwork on hand so that the EPC does not cause a delay in your sale or rental agreement or postpone handover to the building’s owner.
- Remember that EPCs will raise your costs – The cost of an EPC ranges from around £5,000 for a ‘simple’ office building to around £40,000 for a large shopping centre. Consider the cost of an EPC when determining the sale price of new or existing premises or negotiating a refurbishment contract, as you are unlikely to be able to ask a prospective buyer or tenant to directly pay for an EPC or recover the cost from an existing tenant.
If you fail to provide an EPC to a potential buyer or tenant when selling or leasing a non-dwelling, the penalty is usually set at 12.5% of the building’s rateable value. The expenses of creating an EPC for commercial premises vary depending on the size, complexity, and usage of the building; hence a formula is utilized. The range of penalties under this formula is established at £500 with a maximum of £5,000.
You may seek a review if you get a penalty charge notification that you feel is unreasonable. Suppose you are dissatisfied with the conclusion of the review. In that case, you may file an appeal with the County Court within 28 days after receiving a notification from the district council confirming the penalty charge notice. Suppose you can demonstrate that you sought an EPC from an appropriate person at least 14 days before it was necessary and that it was not made available in time despite all reasonable efforts. In that case, you will have a defence against a penalty charge notice.
To commit the following offenses is a crime:
Disclose an EPC, a recommendation report, or any information gathered while preparing these in any circumstances other than to fulfil their duties under EPC law – i.e. to prospective buyers or tenants to make a decision about the property or to accreditation schemes or enforcement bodies if required to do so obstruct or impersonate an enforcement officer. If convicted of one of these offences, you might face a £5,000 fine.