25 May, 2008
Owners of commercial buildings must comply with new legislation being rolled out throughout 2008 or face a penalty charge of up to £5,000 warns law firm Forbes Solicitors.
Similar to changes seen in the domestic property market when HIPS were introduced, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will now also be required for commercial buildings.
An EPC contains information about the energy efficiency of a building, including an asset rating indicating the energy performance of the building's fabric and its services.
Adam Bromley, Commercial Property Solicitor at Forbes says "It is down to the seller or landlord to provide a valid EPC at their own expense and there is likely to be a high level of demand for them at the outset. This causes concern due to the lack of fully trained inspectors currently available to fulfil the requirement. Anyone contemplating the sale or lease of a commercial building, should plan ahead now for the necessary survey to take place which will grant them with the required EPC. Otherwise they may face significant delays in property transactions."
The requirement for an EPC will happen in stages throughout 2008;
From 6th April all newly constructed non-dwellings and existing buildings with a floor area over 10,000m2 being sold or rented.
From 1st July all buildings constructed, sold or rented with floor areas of over 2,500m2.
From 1st October all commercial buildings on construction, sale or lease.
For public buildings, including those occupied by public authorities or by institutions providing public services including schools, hospitals and council offices a Display Energy Certificate will be required. This comes into effect from 1 October 2008 and is applicable to those with a floor area of over 1,000m2.