The National Property Service

Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificates

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are required for all commercial or non-domestic buildings in Scotland.

Scotland, together with all other EU member nations, has an obligation under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive to promote improvements in the energy performance of both new and existing buildings. Scientific studies have shown that the world’s natural resources generate emissions, including CO2, which has a direct contribution to global warming. The Scottish Climate Change Bill has set ambitious targets for reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. Currently, buildings account for around 40% of all CO2 emissions.

An EPC is a certificate which states the energy efficiency of a building based on the standardised way in which it is used. CO2 ratings are displayed in bands from A-G with A being the least polluting. The performance of the measured building is benchmarked against current building standards and recommended cost effective improvements.

The cost effective improvements within the EPC will reduce the carbon emissions generated, save energy and make buildings more attractive to prospective buyers or tenants. A building can be made more energy efficient by improving the heating system, insulation or air conditioning system.

The vendor or owner of a building will be responsible for providing the EPC at the time of any sale or lease transaction. However, prudent owners will produce an EPC at the time the building is being offered to the market to allow prospective new owners or occupiers to factor the building’s energy performance into their decision-making process. The building’s EPC must be available free of charge to any prospective tenant or purchaser.

Any public building greater than 1000m² occupied by public authorities, or institutions providing public services that can be visited by the public, requires an EPC.

An EPC has a lifespan of 10 years and must be fixed to the building. If, however, major works are undertaken, the building owners may choose to update the certificate. If the vendor sells or rents the property, the same EPC can be passed on if it has been produced within the 10 year period.

EPCs are not required for buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m² or temporary buildings with a lifespan of less than two years.

An EPC must be carried out by an approved organisation. Details of approved organisations and assessors are available from such organisations as BRE and RICS. Shepherd is an approved organisation with qualified energy assessors.

Local authorities may serve enforcement notices and refer matters to the Procurator Fiscal which could result in a criminal conviction and a fine of up to £5,000 per building for non-compliance with the regulations.

If you would like to discuss EPCs further, obtain a quotation or if you are unsure about whether an EPC is required, then please call your local Shepherd office.