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When it comes to running a commercial property, whether that’s being a landlord, or managing another kind of commercial property, you can find yourself in need of an energy performance certificate. The EPC was part of a green EU initiative designed to diagnose and document various buildings energy efficiency and CO2 emissions, and therefore, their environmental impact.
Introduced on August 1st 2007 as part of the Home Information Pack (HIP), the Energy Performance Certificate is required by UK law for all domestic and commercial properties that meet a certain specification.
Initially aimed mainly at domestic properties with four bedrooms or more, this was extended to both smaller properties and domestic over the following years. In later years HIP was made redundant, but the EPC stayed necessary for homes, and properties, both commercial and domestic, with heavy, hefty fines and sanctions in place for those that don’t keep to it, and document up to date energy performance certificates.
With commercial properties, an energy performance certificate is necessary and mandatory for properties over fifty square meters floor space. When originally implemented, the energy performance certificate was primarily for domestic properties, but it later became mandatory for all properties bar a few notable exceptions. All domestic properties require an EPC. When it comes to letting commercial properties, having a great EPC grading can be a real boon.
The most efficient commercial properties will be much more appealing to let, especially if it’s a large property, as this can mean it’s much cheaper to run on a day to day basis, which can make things much easier on the outgoings of the business, even if the property is slightly more expensive than competitors.
As a newer, smaller business, you’re better off renting somewhere slightly more costly, if you’re going to make a substantial saving on energy costs, essentially when compared to earlier commercial properties. It’s better to rent somewhere that’s going to cost you less in the long term, especially when as a start-up you don’t know when funding is going to come in and how much. Little savings can make a big difference in the beginning of a business.
Penalties and fines for failing to meet the UK government’s legislation on having an EPC can be strict. Both for domestic and commercial properties, sanctions and fines can be well into the thousands for failing to have an accurate, up to date EPC survey.
As a commercial enterprise however, these fines can be even higher, which can be crippling to smaller, newer businesses. If you make any major modifications or additions to your property it’s advised that you get a fresh energy efficiency certificate performed on your property, making sure it’s completely up to date.
If you’re selling or letting your property, then you need to get an EPC survey done, otherwise you risk further fines, which can make the letting process even more time consuming and costly. It might be easier to let commercial properties, rather than domestic, but you still need to make sure your EPC is up to date.
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