Minimum Energy Standards for Commercial property owners

The owners of non-residential property need to start planning for the introduction of new minimum energy standards, which come into force on 1 April 2018 and how they could affect the properties they own.

The prohibition on letting sub-standard property”,

The minimum energy efficiency provisions will mean that;

a) from 1 April 2018, landlords of commercial properties may not grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if their property has an EPC rating of band F or G, and

b) from 1 April 2023, landlords must not continue letting a commercial property which is already let if it has an EPC rating of band F or G.

Where a landlord wishes to continue letting property which is sub-standard, they will need to undertake improvements to the energy efficiency to raise the rating to a minimum of level E. 

In certain, limited, circumstances landlords may be able to claim an exemption from this prohibition, for example where all improvements which can be made have been undertaken, and the property remains below an E.  Where a valid exemption applies, landlords must register the exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register.

Listed Buildings and Energy Performance Certificate Compliance:

There is a common misconception relating to whether listed buildings are exempt from the requirement to obtain an EPC, as Listed properties, and buildings within a conservation area, will not necessarily be exempt from the requirement to have a valid EPC and it will be up to the owner of a listed building to understand whether or not their property is required to have an EPC. 

Where a listed commercial property, or a property within a conservation area, is required to have an EPC, that property will be within scope of the minimum energy efficiency standards.

An EPC is not currently required for a listed building or a building in a conservation area if compliance with the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter its character or appearance.  Examples of this exemption include external solid wall insulation, replacement glazing, solar panels, or an external wall mounted air source heat pump. Where character or appearance would not be altered by compliance with energy performance requirements, an EPC is likely to be legally required.

David Tulett at BTF Partnership comments: “If an owner or occupier of a building is unsure about whether their property is required to have an EPC or needs to be adapted, they should obtain appropriate advice as soon as possible as the new regulations are fast approaching.  This really isn’t something which should be ignored and if you own or are considering buying a commercial property, you should take advice about the likely cost of complying with these new rules.”

Further advice and information is available from BTF Partnership or call 01227 763663.

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