- Why performance ratings are required
- What type of rating is required
- Meet EPC ratings in England and Wales
- Meet EPC ratings in Scotland and Northern Ireland
- Get finance and support
According to the UK Green Building Council, the ‘built environment’ accounts for 40% of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Built environment includes homes, buildings and other infrastructure such as roads and pipes.
Most non-domestic buildings need to make measurable improvements to energy performance standards to improve efficiency.
Over time this will help to:
- reduce operating costs
- maintain property value
- meet the UK’s net zero emission targets
Buildings are rated using Energy Performance Certificates or ‘EPCs’.
EPCs can only be done by certified commercial assessors. They provide a rating from ‘A’ to ‘G’, with level A being the most efficient.
EPCs are valid for 10 years once issued.
It costs from around £150 to get an EPC for small buildings. EPC costs increase with building size and complexity.
Ratings are calculated based on construction materials, heating systems, insulation and other factors. In England and Wales, energy performance is calculated using approved national calculation methodologies.
Additional performance regulations apply if you are constructing a major addition or new building.
In England and Wales, privately rented non-domestic buildings must legally have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘E’ when:
- they are being sold
- they are being let to new tenants
- an existing tenancy is renewed
- you retrofit the heating, cooling or ventilation systems
You can be fined between £500 and £5,000 if you don’t make an EPC available to a prospective buyer or tenant. Local authorities enforce compliance with EPCs.
Get an exemption
You might be exempt from an EPC if you own or manage:
- properties that can prove retrofits would not pay back within 7 years
- listed properties that would be ‘unacceptably altered’
- some temporary, vacant, and to-be-demolished buildings
- detached buildings smaller than 50 square metres
Check Historic England’s Energy Efficiency Guide for advice on upgrading listed properties.
Meet EPC ‘E’ rating in your private rented non-domestic property
As of April 2023 all privately rented non-domestic properties in England and Wales must legally have an EPC rating of ‘E’ where cost effective.
An EPC rating of ‘E’ applies:
- regardless of tenancy and ownership status
- to all non-domestic rented properties that are legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- usually if you let a property and it has been marketed for sale or let in the past 10 years
- usually if you let a property and it has been been modified in the past 10 years
This means you need to get an EPC with a rating of ‘E’ if:
- you don’t have an EPC (and are required to have one)
- your existing EPC is more than 10 years old
- your building has an EPC rated lower than ‘E’ and you don’t have an exemption
Minimum energy efficiency standards of EPC ‘B’ by 2030
The government has consulted on their ambition to increase EPC requirements beyond ‘E’.
The government aims to require that all non-domestic rented buildings below EPC Band B must undertake cost-effective improvements by 2030, with an interim milestone of EPC ‘C’ by 2027.
Both have EPC requirements with similar rating schemes.
Scotland is developing new regulations for non-domestic buildings by 2025.
You might find it helpful to hire a consultant so you can get the right EPC rating if your business needs support and has financial resources.
Check our retrofit funding page to find out what finance support is available from banks, government schemes and local councils.