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EPC 2030: An Office Tenant's Guide

EPC 2030

By 2030, all non-domestic rented properties in the UK will have to have an energy efficiency rating of B or higher. However, 70% of offices are rated currently C or lower. This means that if you lease your office(s), you'll likely have to move in the next few years.


Under the EPC 2030 legislation, much of the responsibility for compliance falls to the landlord. They cannot rent out a property that is not rated EPC B or better after 2030. However, this obviously impacts you as a tenant.


That's why in this article, we'll explain exactly what EPC 2030 is, how it impacts you, and what you need to do about it. By the end of this article, you'll know what EPC 2030 means for your company.


What is EPC 2030 B?

EPC (energy performance certificate) is a measure of the energy efficiency of a building. The scale runs from G to A, with A being the most efficient. The rating is calculated by multiplying the energy consumption of a building by its carbon dioxide emissions factor. This gives a “carbon dioxide equivalent emissions” (CO₂e) rating, which determines the EPC.


Buildings with a CO₂e rating of 150+ are rated G, while a building must have a CO₂e score of less than 25 to be rated A. Net zero buildings are rated A+. First introduced in 2007, the EPC system is used for all buildings, both commercial and domestic.


Currently, non-domestic buildings must have an EPC rating of E or better. In 2021, the government announced that from 1st April 2030, all non-domestic buildings must have an EPC rating of at least B. There is also an intermediary requirement that all non-domestic buildings be rated at least C by 2027.


How EPC 2030 Impacts You

Most offices will need to be stripped back to shell & core and then refitted in order to meet EPC B standards. For you, it likely won't be practical to stay in the space while the works are being carried out. Most landlords are planning to end all leases and refurbish the entire building at once. If your office is rated EPC C or lower, you'll probably have to move office before 2030. If it's rated D or lower, you'll have to move offices before 2027.


There will also be a financial impact to your company as a result of EPC 2030. B-rated offices will be more expensive to rent, as landlords recoup the expense of the upgrades. You will also have the costs of moving into your new office - the Cat B design & build, as well as the relocation itself. However, the running costs of EPC B-rated offices are much lower, as the systems are much more efficient. Typically, such offices create 20-50% energy savings compared to average offices.


A B-rated office will also strengthen your company's sustainability credentials. Prospective staff and clients alike are increasingly prioritising sustainability when choosing who to work for and deal with. There is a real commercial advantage, as well as a public duty, to prove your environmental responsibility. This could be strengthened even further by completing your office fit out to a BREEAM outstanding or excellent rating.


Your EPC 2030 Responsibilities

Most of the responsibilities of EPC 2030 compliance fall to the landlord. They are required to ensure the space meets the regulations, and can be fined if not. However, as a tenant, you will need to comply and facilitate. This will likely include allowing 3rd party inspections of the space and communicating with the landlord about the changes. You may also need to provide energy usage data.


If your office is rated D or lower, It is almost certain you will need to vacate the space while the works are underway. In many cases, the most practical thing to do will be to move to an office that has already been upgraded to B or better. However, your landlord may offer temporary accommodation elsewhere while the upgrades are in progress.


Achieving EPC 3020 B In Your Office

The requirement for all rented offices to be EPC rated B or higher by 2030 will cause significant upheaval in the commercial real estate market. You will likely have to move offices before 2030, perhaps even before 2027. Moving to a B-rated office will come at a cost, but it will also reduce your real estate operating costs and improve your company's sustainability credentials.


You now know what EPC 2030 is, how it impacts your company, and what you are responsible for under EPC 2030. As a result, you know what EPC 2030 will mean for your company over the next 3-6 years.


To learn more about what the EPC 2030 legislation means for you as an office tenant, read this article. For help improve the carbon footprint of your office, read Top 5 Ways to Improve Office Sustainability.



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