Energy Performance Certificates
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required before any property can be marketed for sale, rent or lease assignment, and is valid for 10 years. As much as 55% of the UK's CO2 emissions come from its buildings, and the EPC is designed to assess how energy efficient the building is, what changes can be made to improve this, and the potential impact of the recommendations on energy bills and the environment.
With commercial buildings, an EPC is also required prior to marketing. The EPC is accompanied by a detailed recommendations report, suggesting what improvements can be made to a commercial property to reduce energy costs.
An EPC is valid for 10 years, for residential and commercial properties, but if you make significant improvements to your property during that time, it may be in your interests to commission a new EPC to reflect the increase in energy efficiency.
Acquiring an EPC is the responsibility of the property vendor or landlord, and should be done before any marketing for sale or let has commenced. However, from April 2012, the responsibility will extend to any professional person advising them on the transaction, meaning that solicitors and agents can be considered liable for EPC compliance.
Compliance with EPC regulations is the responsibility of your local Trading Standards Office. Penalty for non-compliance can be severe. A repeatable financial penalty can be charged, and there is legal remit for a charge up to 12.5% of the rateable value of the building to be levied.