EPC Proposed Changes (Non Domestic Buildings) in Scotland


The result of the Brexit Referendum to exit the European Union presents a huge challenge.  Currently the inspection of buildings under the European Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is written into UK Law and therefore we must all continue as we are.

The UK is committed to saving energy and reducing greenhouse gasses and this will continue.  This is a global challenge and the UK has signed up to the Kyoto Protocol.  Currently, one of the best ways to understand energy usage and where savings can be made is through the advice and information provided in Energy Performance Certificates.  The UK’s commitment to the EPBD, enshrined in UK Law, forms a major part of the UK’s sustainability strategy and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

The most recent EPC Regulations were signed off by The Scottish Parliament on 8th March 2016.  This Legislation  sets very modest energy performance improvement targets.  However, the Legislation has introduced an Action Plan to accompany the EPC.  All properties for sale/lease over 1,000m² will require an Action Plan.

The Action Plan and EPC will form part of the marketing material available to prospective purchasers/tenants.  Both the Action Plan and the EPC must be lodged on the Scottish Register.

The Action Plan will be prepared by Section 63 Advisors.  The Action Plan will specify improvement measures.  The payback period of the improvement measures must not be greater than 7 years which will be measured through savings in energy bills.  The payback period for boilers is 15 years.  Improvement measures must be undertaken within 3½ years of the EPC being lodged.

There are 7 prescriptive improvement measures within these new Regulations.  The alternative improvement measures are optional by the Client/Owner/Section 63 Advisor and must have a shorter payback period than the prescriptive improvement measures.

The fine for non-compliance will be £1,000.00.

The following building types are currently exempt:-


  • Buildings with a floor area less than 1,000m² (subject to sale/lease).
  • Lease renewals/short term lets.
  • Buildings that meet 2002 Building Regulations.
  • Buildings improved by the UK Green Deal.
  • Workshops or non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand.


Should you require further information, please contact your local Graham + Sibbald Office.



EPC 9 January 2013, legal requirements - click here.

Energy Performance Certificates have been required from 4th January 2009 for the Commercial or Non-Domestic Buildings in Scotland.

Scotland along with the other EU member nations have an obligation under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to promote improvements in the energy performance of both new and existing buildings. Scientific studies have shown that the world’s natural resources such as oil, gas and solid fuels generate omissions with the main one being CO2 which has a direct contribution to global warming. The Scottish Climate Change Bill has set ambitious targets of reducing CO2 omissions by 80% by 2050. Currently omissions from buildings account for approximately 40% of all CO2 omissions.

The Scottish Government is introducing Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) to comply with the Energy Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008.

An EPC is a Certificate which states the energy efficiency of a building based on the standardised way in which a building is used. The Certificate is based upon the efficiency of the building and not the way it is used. CO2 ratings are showing 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 omissions 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 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.
  • Temporary buildings with the lifespan of less than 2 years.

An Energy Performance Certificate must be carried out by an approved organisation. Details of approved organisations and assessors are available via Organisations such as RICS. Graham + Sibbald is an approved Organisation with qualified Energy Assessors.

Local Authorities may serve Enforcement Notices and refer the matter 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 new Regulations.
Finally, Graham + Sibbald understand that both the European Union and the Scottish Parliament are currently considering additional measures and requirements to be introduced as part of the EPC Legislation. Graham + Sibbald will keep you updated of any changes in the Regulations.

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