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Are Britain’s commercial buildings ready for 2027’s proposed crackdown on EPC ratings?

More than a quarter of the commercial property market is at risk of not meeting 2027’s proposed C-rating target standard for energy performance, roofing expert Jones and Woolman has warned.

Some 28% of commercial buildings are currently at risk of non-compliance of Energy Performance Certificate target.

Some 111,902 non-domestic lodgements were rated in the first three quarters of this year in England and Wales. Of these, the most common rating was a C, with just over a third (35.8%) of buildings receiving this rating this year.

Things are moving in the right direction, as the number of buildings rated A*-C has increased from 66% in 2022 to 72% this year.

Matthew Jones, sales director at Jones and Woolman UK, said: “The EPC ratings for the year so far are a good indicator of the state of the commercial buildings across Britain and how they are faring in energy efficiency.

“But what’s concerning is that the current figures indicate that over a quarter would be at risk of non-compliance with MEES (minimum energy efficiency standards) if the proposed government plans to bring a minimum C rating come into effect.

“Over 30,000 commercial buildings were rated D – G so far this year, which accounts for 28% of the non-domestic ratings recorded in 2023.

“Significant support and change is needed to upgrade these buildings’ roofs, insulation and renewable energy sources to become more efficient in the coming years.”

How can buildings improve energy efficiency by the proposed 2027 target?

Matthew Jones offers advice on commercial property EPC-compliance for 2027.

He added: “From 1st April this year, it is an offence to continue to let or rent out a commercial property if it does not have a rating of at least at E, with a penalty based on the rateable value of the building between £10,000 to £150,000 per breach. And with likely penalties for non-compliance of an EPC rating of C or above in three years’ time, not only would a D rating or lower impact businesses financially, it could also affect income and cause operational downtime during completion of energy efficiency improvement works.

“There are many parts at play to improve a building’s energy efficiency. The key area we work with our clients on is their roofing performance, and in fact roofing upgrades and maintenance account for around 20% of our total work so far this year, compared to installation at the construction and design stage of new commercial buildings. Which in itself highlights the efforts being made to improve energy efficiency in the commercial building sector.

“The holistic relationship of weatherproofing and the building envelope is crucial for a healthy and energy-efficient roof and building with a long lifespan. However, it’s not as simple as just upgrading a roofing system or adding renewable energy sources like solar PVs to a commercial building to improve an EPC rating. It requires a much more thorough approach and analysis of the building in the context of its function and age. We are urging commercial building landlords and property owners to consider their current rating and assess improvement works needed sooner rather than later, with so many (a quarter) facing the challenge of being C or above in the next three to four years to remain operational.”