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Environmentally unfriendly buildings under threat from Energy Act

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Thousands of square feet of commercial property stock in Birmingham could be obsolete within three years, a Birmingham property expert has warned.

As part of the Government’s Energy Act, commercial properties with an Environmental Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘F’ or below will not be allowed to be marketed for sale or to let.

In Birmingham, of the 10,211 commercial properties with an official EPC rating, 17 per cent (1,764) are currently rated F or below.

Nationally, around 18 per cent of commercial premises will be affected should the minimum EPC rating of E be applied.

With the new rules regarding the energy efficiency of commercial buildings due to come into force by April 2018, landlords have three years to improve the energy performance of their properties or risk being left with a building they can’t sell or let.

Adrian Walsh, head of Building Consultancy at Bruton Knowles in Birmingham, said the Energy Act could potentially wipe out thousands of square feet of commercial space from the market unless landlords invest in their properties to bring them up to the required standard.

“Landlords sitting on stock with an EPC rating of E or below should be thinking about protecting their future rental income by making the necessary upgrades to their buildings ahead of the April 2018 deadline.

“Three years may seem like a long time but it is important to start the planning early. Identifying those properties that need attention is the first step.”

From April 2016, tenants of commercial and residential properties with and ‘F’ or ‘G’ rating will be able to request that their landlord carries out energy performance improvements.

“There are lots of opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of a property,” said Mr Walsh.

“Upgrading old boilers, replacing old windows, increasing insulation levels, and installing energy efficient lighting are just some of the ways the energy performance of a building can be improved". 

“Making these sorts of changes within older properties will not only have a potential positive impact on values, they will make the property more attractive to occupiers and investors. For tenants, there’s also the added benefit of a reduction in energy costs.

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Posted by Matt Taylor on 20 April 2015

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