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Fifth of UK commercial properties face penalties for not meeting new energy standards

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Recent research has found that almost a fifth of commercial property owners in the UK face hefty fines if they fail to make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings by 2018.

The study, published by property agent, Cushman & Wakefield, follows the Government’s Energy Act passed during the last Parliament – which stipulated that from 2018 it will be unlawful to rent out a business property which does not comply with the Government’s minimum “E”-rated standard of energy efficiency.

At present, around 20% of UK commercial property buildings fall into the inefficient “F” and “G” categories, studies have found.

A further 19% were found to be straddling the legal cut-off point, and around 40% in total were discovered to be potentially facing “a significant performance risk”.

From 2018 onwards, owners not complying with the new regulations will face fines of up to £150,000, along with a “sub-standard” rating – which will significantly devalue their property.

Some owners could even be barred from letting out their properties to businesses and other clients.

Philip Webb, from Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Owners should bear in mind that occupiers will increasingly favour higher EPC-rated buildings which will have lower running costs, and help companies prove they have a strong sustainability track record”.

From 2018, the Government itself claims it will only occupy buildings rated higher than a “C” for energy performance.