When is a Commercial EPC required?

A Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (commonly called a Commercial EPC) is required when you build, rent or sell a non-residential property.  You must order an EPC for potential buyers and tenants before you market your property to sell or rent.

You must also obtain an EPC if there are changes to the number of parts used for separate occupation and these changes involve providing or extending fixed heating, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation systems.

An EPC may also be required to take advantage of certain schemes.  One common example is to claim feed-in tariff (FIT) payments.


Some buildings don’t need an EPC.  However, these regulations have been devolved and so different rules apply in different administrations (parts of the UK).  They are also linked to the respective building regulations and so some of the exemptions only apply in very specific circumstances.  For example, you might think a church or mosque would automatically be exempt as a place of worship but that is not always true.  You have to consider the way all parts of the building are used carefully and, whilst parts of the building might be exempt if they were separated, the building as a whole may not be.  If you are unsure you should contact experts for advice.

Currently, in England and Wales, exemptions are in place for buildings that are:

  • places of worship
  • temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
  • stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50m²
  • industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
  • due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant planning and conservation consents
  • due to be demolished and the site redeveloped by the buyer or tenant where they are sold or rented out with vacant possession and the buyer or tenant has applied for planning permission to demolish it
  • some listed buildings – you should get advice from your local authority conservation officer if the work would alter the building’s character

In Scotland different regulations apply.  These do not exempt listed buildings and are more limited.  The exemptions currently in place are for:

  • temporary buildings with a planned time of use of two years or less
  • workshops and non residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand
  • stand-alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m² which are not dwellings.

Here at Rowley’s Commercial Energy Assessment we’re not in the business of selling you our services unnecessarily.  If you need advice please contact us and we will do our best to help with your specific circumstances.  As we also deal with domestic assessments we can also assist if you require a Domestic EPC instead.

Caution: Do not rely on an exemption without taking specialist advice.  Many of these exemptions have specific definitions which are not as obvious as they first seem and the consequences of getting it wrong can be significant!

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