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Energy Performance Certificates and Display Energy Certificates - why GP surgeries need these in place

on Wednesday, 01 November 2023.

Many GP Surgeries are not aware that they need both an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) in place to ensure compliance with UK energy efficiency regulations.

Failing to have these certificates in place may result in GP Surgeries failing to meet UK Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards which, depending on the situation, may result in fines and may cause delays to future dealings with their property. Here we discuss the difference between EPCs and DECs, why these certificates are needed and some key points for consideration.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

An EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate which is used to assess how energy efficient a property is. This is assessed by examining the insulation, boilers, radiators and glazing. The certificate provides an asset rating of the building, from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least.

In the UK, EPCs are legally mandated when commercial properties, including GP surgeries, are constructed, marketed, sold or leased. Potential buyers or tenants can use this information to make informed decisions. A mortgage lender is also likely to ask to see an EPC if your are refinancing your property or updating your mortgage documentation.

In addition to the above, the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, also known as the Minimum Energy Efficient Standards Regulations (MEES Regulations) require that all properties which are leased to a third party are required to have an EPC in place with a minimum EPC rating of an E. It is therefore an offence to grant a lease or to continue to lease a property which does not achieve the minimum E rating threshold. There are exemptions to these requirements but these are limited.

An EPC is valid for 10 years from the date of issue and it is best practice for these to be renewed at expiry.

Display Energy Certificates (DECs)

A DEC is a Display Energy Certificate which is used to show the operational energy performance of a building and is based on actual energy consumption of a building over a 12 months period. The certificate provides an energy rating from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is the least efficient.

A DEC is required for any building that is larger than 250 square meters and is occupied by a public authority, this includes GP surgeries.

The DEC must be displayed openly for the public to see at the property. The aim of this is to promote energy awareness and to encourage people to save energy.

A DEC is valid for 12 months for properties with a total floor area of over 1,000 meters square. For properties with a floor area below this, the certificate is valid for 10 years.

Where a DEC is deemed to be required, and is not available, a local authority may impose a fine of for non compliance.

Why it's important to know the difference between EPCs and DECs 

It is important to distinguish between EPCs and DECs because producing a DEC when selling or leasing a property does not discharge the legal duty to produce a valid EPC. A DEC will also not be sufficient for a landlord to discharge the requirements under the MEES Regulations set out above. An EPC must be produced in these circumstances, however a DEC is also helpful to provide to assist the purchaser or tenant with greater information.

While an EPC is required in the above circumstances, the presence of an EPC will not discharge the obligations of GP surgeries to have a DEC in place and on display at their surgery premises. Therefore, a DEC must be in place in addition to an EPC to ensure compliance with UK energy efficiency regulations.

It is important to note that energy ratings of DECs and EPCs often differ as the ratings are determined using different metrics.

In order to ensure full compliance, GP surgeries should have both an EPC and DEC in place as they perform a different purpose and represent different information. In addition, when refinancing a GP surgery or updating mortgage documentation, most lenders will require both an EPC and a DEC to be in place.

How to check if you have an EPC and a DEC

You can check here whether your GP surgery has both an EPC and DEC.

If you do not have either or both of these certificates, we recommend that you instruct a specialist energy surveyor can who can undertake an assessment of your property and provide the required certificates.

If you would like to know more about EPCs and DECs, please contact Kirsten Brown in our Healthcare team on 07467220900, or complete the form below.

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