Business Energy

Energy performance certificate for business


man and woman looking through paperwork

An energy performance certificate for business rates how efficiently a business uses its energy. The certificate uses an A-G grading format to indicate the energy efficiency of the business in question. The most efficient will be graded ‘A’ while the least will receive a grade ‘G’.

Despite the fact they are, in most cases, a legal requirement, it is a business owner’s responsibility to apply and pay for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Unless you are exempt from needing one, you may face a penalty charge if you do not comply.

Nearly all commercial buildings will need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The government requirements state that you need one when:

  • you rent out or sell your premises.
  • a building under construction is completed.
  • changes are made to the parts of the building for separate occupation, involving any changes or additions to heating, air and ventilation systems.

How to get a commercial Energy Performance Certificate

Although most businesses need a commercial Energy Performance Certificate, the process is different depending on the size and complexity of your building. This is because buildings are categorised into different levels, with different commercial energy assessors for each category.

  • A ‘simple building’ is one that uses recurring characteristics, such as simple heating systems, natural ventilation and small cooling systems. They’re often considered similar to domestic residences and can be assessed by assessors trained at level 3 and above.

  • A ‘complex building’ has advanced features – the type which are not often not seen in domestic properties, for example HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Cooling) systems.

This may sound a little confusing, however, it couldn’t be easier. To find your local commercial energy assessor, fill in a form on the Non-Domestic EPC Register.

Do you need to display your energy performance certificate for business?

As well as guidelines for which businesses need an EPC, there are also instances where you may need to display your certificate too. The government requires businesses to fix their EPC to their commercial building when:

  • the total floor area is greater than 500 square metres.
  • the building is frequently used by the public.
  • an EPC has already been produced for the building’s sale, rental or construction.

If you don’t follow these requirements and display your EPC, you could be liable to a penalty charge.

You can be fined between £500 and £5,000 based on the ratable value of the building if you don’t make an EPC available to any prospective buyer or tenant.

Can you appeal a penalty charge for not having a commercial energy performance certificate?

As with all governmental penalty charges, you do have the option to appeal if you believe you have been treated unfairly. All charges will include instructions on how to appeal, allowing you to ask for a review of the penalty charge notice. If the review results in you still be charged, you can then appeal to county court. For those based in Scotland, you can appeal to sheriff court.

So, if you believe you do not need an energy performance certificate for a commercial property, or that you don’t fit the criteria which states you must display your EPC, there’s no need to worry. Follow the due process and, providing you’re correct, your charge should be retracted.

Are there any exemptions to having a commercial property EPC?

While most commercial properties need to be a part of the EPC register, there are exemptions. These are usually centred around the size, use or length of time your building is used for. They include:

  • detached buildings with a floor of space under 50 square metres.
  • listed or officially protected buildings where the requirements for EPC would alter the building in an unsuitable manner.
  • buildings which are temporary (planned for use for 2 years or less).
  • places of worship or other religious activities.
  • industrial sites, workshops or non-residential agricultural buildings which do not use a substantial amount of energy.
  • buildings that are due to be demolished, with the correct planning and conservation consent.

If you're rent out any type of business premises, check out out our commercial property landlord energy advice page. And if you're ready to switch and save on your business energy bills, give our switching team a call now on 0800 088 6986.

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