Now compulsory for all commercial buildings. EPCs became compulsory on the construction of all new commercial buildings, and sales and lettings of non-residential buildings, regardless of size, in October 2008.

An EPC gives a fridge-like A-G rating of a building’s energy efficiency and is valid for ten years. It must be accompanied by a report by an Energy Assessor, containing recommendations for improvements – although you’re not actually required to implement them.

It’s the responsibility of the seller or landlord to obtain an EPC, which must be in place before Heads of Terms are agreed and, if the property has been marketed, attached to the particulars.

Although an EPC isn’t required for lease surrenders or renewals or for sales/lettings off-plan during construction, you’ll need one if a building has been split into separate units and/or if fixed services, such as heating, have been modified. Only one EPC is required for multi-let properties, provided there’s communal heating; and for mixed use properties, the residential and commercial elements must have separate EPCs.

The penalty for non-compliance is fixed at 12.5% of the rateable value of the building up to a maximum fine of £5000.