With certain exceptions, such as stand-alone commercial buildings smaller than 50m2, an EPC is required whenever a domestic or commercial is building is offered for sale or rent. The EPC remains valid for 10 years, and it can be re-used if the building is sold or let again within that time. The EPC does not have to be displayed, but it must be made available to prospective tenants or buyers.
What if the EPC rating is poor?
The EPC rating was originally for information only, there was no absolute Pass / Fail standard. However, since the introduction of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) in April 2018 it is now generally illegal to renew or create a tenancy if the EPC rating is F or G. (There are exceptions to this, but the detail is too complex to explain here).
When is a DEC required?
A DEC is required for any public building of 250m2 or more that is regularly visited by members of the public. For buildings of more than 1000m2 the DEC must be renewed annually. For smaller buildings the DEC lasts for 10 years. It is required for all eligible buildings, whether or not they are for sale or rent, and it must be displayed in a prominent position.
What’s the difference between a DEC and a Commercial EPC?
A DEC calculates a building’s actual energy consumption per square metre over a 12-month period, and compares it with the average performance of buildings of a similar type. It is a measure of how well a building actually performs rather than a theoretical prediction.
An EPC calculates a theoretical energy efficiency rating, based on the building’s size, shape, construction, heating, lighting and ventilation systems. It is intended to inform prospective buyers or tenants about the expected running costs of the building.
Must I comply with an Advisory Report or Recommendation Report?
The preparation of a DEC or a Commercial EPC also includes the production of an Advisory Report (for DECs) or a Recommendation Report (for EPCs). Both of these give advice on how to improve the energy efficiency of the building, and potentially therefore on how to reduce fuel bills. Clients are recommended to take note of the advice, but there is no legal obligation to follow the suggestions.