All about epc regulations in 2020 for commercial property

In recent years, there has been a greater emphasis in the UK on energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions.

The government has introduced regulations for Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for commercial properties as part of this effort. The goal is to encourage property owners and tenants to make more energy-efficient choices, thereby lowering energy consumption and, as a result, carbon emissions.

In this article, we will look at the EPC regulations for commercial properties in 2020 and discuss what property owners and tenants should know to ensure compliance.

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How are EPC regulations changing for commercial property?

As part of the government’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, new EPC regulations requiring commercial properties to meet a higher standard will go into effect on April 1, 2023.

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were implemented in 2018, stating that no new tenancy could be created unless it had an EPC rating of E.

However, beginning April 1, 2023, this requirement will apply to all commercially leased properties, regardless of whether the tenancy is new or not.

Landlords should be aware of the impending regulation and make the necessary changes to ensure their properties meet the new standard.

It’s important to remember that an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement for both sales and rentals of commercial properties.

EPC ratings are frequently used by prospective buyers and tenants to compare the energy efficiency of various properties. A Commercial EPC always includes a report outlining recommendations for improving the building’s energy performance.

epc regulations for commercial property

What should a landlord do if they have a commercial property?

If you own or manage a commercial property, you should be aware of upcoming EPC regulations changes. First, double-check your EPC ratings and their expiration dates.

This is simple to do by searching the public register of EPC certificates. While the majority of commercial properties and lettings will be affected, some will be exempt, such as listed buildings or properties rented for less than six months or for more than 99 years.

If you’re concerned about a low rating, see if you qualify for one of the exemptions from making improvements.

If you need to raise your EPC rating for April 2023, you should seek professional advice from a surveyor or building consultant as soon as possible and develop an action plan for energy improvements.

To encourage sustainability, you could also consider implementing green lease provisions. It’s also important to plan ahead of time, as the government wants all commercial properties to have an EPC rating of at least B by 2030, with an interim target of C by 2027.

What exemptions are there?

If you are a landlord who rents out commercial property, you should be aware that the new Regulations apply to all rented commercial premises (with the exception of those subject to leases of less than 6 months, or more than 99 years).

However, there are a few exceptions where making improvements to improve the EPC rating is either impossible or economically unviable.

It should be noted that this article will not go into detail about the exemptions available, but if you intend to rely on one, make sure to apply for and register it. Exemptions are valid for six months to five years.

How will residential properties work?

The difference with residential property is that residential buildings must have an EPC rating of a C by 2025. This is even more strict than commercial property so if you are a landlord who owns both type of property, stay on top of the rules.

a landlord doing checks for tenant referencing

In 2025, significant changes are expected in the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations for commercial properties, marking a significant shift towards sustainability and energy efficiency. 

These new regulations aim to reduce carbon emissions and promote environmentally friendly practices in the commercial sector. Commercial property owners will face stricter requirements regarding energy performance ratings, with a focus on improving insulation, heating, ventilation, and lighting systems. 

The implementation of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and efficient heating systems, will also be encouraged. Furthermore, penalties for non-compliance with these regulations are expected to be more stringent.

In comparison, residential properties have been subject to EPC regulations for several years, but the upcoming changes will align the standards between residential and commercial sectors, ensuring a more comprehensive and consistent approach to energy efficiency across all property types.

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andreas gerazis

Andreas Gerazis

Experienced landlord

Andreas is a certified landlord with extensive knowledge about the UK property market as he has been actively investing for half a decade. Founder of the first three-in-one property management software, Lofti Proptech, Andreas has a brilliant understanding of the details surrounding what it takes to grow and run a thriving property portfolio.