Quidos produce Commercial EPC Compliance Report

Quidos’s report was initially distributed to over 4000 contacts on Monday, including commercial property agents, Trading Standards offices, commercial energy assessors, accreditation schemes, Government departments (CLG and DECC) and industry press.

  • Survey highlights compliance rates of just 22% with recent commercial energy legislation
  • Landlords show reluctance to commission surveys amidst depressed market conditions
  • Trading standards officers to use report to target property without an EPC

South West ‘EPC’ Compliance Report published

Quidos Limited, experts in property energy assessment and compliance matters have published the results of an autumn study into commercial energy efficiency certification across several South West regions, conducted with assistance from local Trading Standards officers.

The report shows that Landlord compliance with the 1-year-old Energy Performance Certificate legislation for commercial property (currently for sale or let) was still very low, with only 22% of commercial property appearing to carry a valid energy certificate.

Areas surveyed with their compliance ratings:

Area Sample size With EPC No EPC Not found
Bristol 200 44 (22%) 103 (52%) 53 (26%)
BANES 228 61 (26%) 54 (23%) 113 (49%)
Dorset 55 10 (18%) 29 (52%) 16 (30%)
Cornwall 125 22 (18%) 73 (58%) 30 (24%)
Wiltshire 115 20 (17%) 39 (34%) 56 (49%)
723 157 (22%) 298 (41%) 268 (37%)

Although these results must be qualified by the methodology used (explained below), they have surprised many industry professionals who had considered EPC compliance to be over 80%. Whilst Quidos have stressed that the figures are at best illustrative and focussed only on the South West, they do highlight a lack of industry compliance which is likely to be repeated across the UK.

Speaking after publication, Quidos Operations Director Nick Branch spoke in favour of moves to improve awareness of energy efficiency; “These certificates provide a valuable asset rating of the energy performance of buildings. This data can and is being used by forward thinking landlords to improve the energy efficiency, and value of their property portfolio. With low cost loans available from the Carbon Trust, these energy saving improvements can be capital neutral in the short term and revenue generating in the longer term.”

Trading Standards officials across the region are now taking an active interest in the findings of the report, and have requested monthly updates to monitor progress. With EPC prices at an all time low, Landlords are now advised to have their available property surveyed to avoid on-the-spot fines of up to £5000.

Nick Branch later continued, “We are extremely pleased with this outcome, and predict that as word gets out, more TSOs will follow suit. The 5 offices included in the survey to date are now working with Quidos to obtain monthly updates which suggests that monitoring of compliance will improve.”

“As well as conducting additional surveys around the UK, Quidos is now contacting commercial property agents to publicise the report and the potential consequences for their clients should they fail to comply. Agents have been on the whole very interested, and although not ultimately liable to ensure EPCs are produced, still have an important role to play in the process.”

Report Methodology Explained

Quidos used market data on ‘available’ commercial property supplied by CoStar during August and September. This data was then cross referenced with the Government-sponsored, Landmark central register of valid EPC reports to gauge compliance. The survey returns 3 results:

Property found, EPC found – the property address matched an existing Landmark entry, and a valid EPC was present.

Property found, EPC not found – the property address matched an existing Landmark entry, but a valid EPC report was not present.

Property not found – the exact property address could not be matched against the Landmark database.

Where property is not found, there are two potential explanations: Either the property has not been surveyed, and no EPC exists, or, the property has been surveyed, but registered under a different address to that supplied by CoStar.

The full report can be read here.

Quidos’s research further underlines previous non compliance studies in the commercial EPC field by NHER which included comparable figures.

Are we finally going to see these commercial EPC compliance rates increase and fines issued by trading standards to those that flout the law? Time will tell.

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