Changes to EPCs regulations impact 57million square meters of commercial property in England & Wales

Latest News Thu, Apr 27, 2023 9:17 AM

Commercial landlords taking steps to meet the new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations are strongly advised to ensure they have next-generation lighting systems and controllers.

Introduced on 1 April 2023, the latest changes to the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations have – to put it mildly – served as a wake-up to the commercial property sector. The changes mean that it is now unlawful for landlords in England and Wales to rent out – or continue to let – commercial properties that do not have an EPC with an E rating or above (1).

Statistics published in advance of this regulatory change suggest that more than 130K of the commercial units in England and Wales are graded below the required E rating. To cut the numbers another way, that equates to an astonishing 12% of the total commercial property stock, says the Centre for Cities, a leading UK think-tank (2). This means nearly 57 million square metres of commercial floorspace do not meet the new requirements, which equates to one and a half times the total commercial space in in Manchester.

While there are some exceptions to the new regulations (2, these are not expected to apply in the vast majority of cases. Moreover, where landlords do not take action to comply with the new measures, they may face substantial penalties of a financial (between £10K and £150K per breach) and/or reputational (publication of details about the breach) nature.

In fact, this is only the latest in a series of developments that should really have given landlords reason to pause. There were already inklings of a commercial property slump before the pandemic – but with remote and hybrid working here to stay, there can be no doubt about it. In fact, rising vacancy rates and falling values mean that some organisations are forecasting a crash worse than the one that occurred during the global financial crisis of 2008-09 (3).

All of which means that inadequate buildings will be left empty and losing money for their owners. And with EPC rating requirements expected to rise once more in 2027 and 2030 as UK’s decarbonisation drive accelerates, the message couldn’t be any clearer: inefficient and outdated buildings have no future.

Therefore, it’s really in landlords’ own interests that they take steps NOW to ensure their buildings don’t fall behind commercial expectations – or the law. And in terms of its phenomenal potential to improve efficiency (and save money), there is no better place to start than with lighting. Find out exactly how much energy and money can be saved with Tamlite Lighting - https://tamlite.co.uk/energysurvey/

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