Low EPC ratings can no longer be ignored

25 July 2014

Under the Energy Act 2011, no later than April 2018, the Secretary of State must make
regulations making it unlawful for property owners to let commercial properties with the lowest energy performance rating as measured by EPCs (Energy performance Certificates).
It appears the Government’s intention is to set the minimum energy efficiency standard at EPC rating “E”, meaning commercial properties with “F” or “G” ratings will become unlettable until energy efficiency improvements are made. It is not unusual to see EPCs with an “F” rating and it is estimated that around 20% of non domestic buildings could have “F” or “G” ratings. So property owners/managers will need to take action to ensure they can continue to let their properties post April 2018. The Green Deal enables recommended improvements to be carried out at no upfront cost with capital cost being
recovered via electricity bills although liability attaches to properties (and not owners hence there are concerns that costs will indirectly be passed to tenants which may not be ideal. But the fact remains, “F” and “G” EPC ratings can no longer be ignored.

Angela Flanagan
Barlow Robbins