Energy Performance Certificates display requirements: guidance

Guidance on when it is a requirement to display an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), EPC-09.

Which buildings must have an EPC on display?

From 9 January 2013, the requirement to display an EPC applies to two categories of larger non-domestic buildings which are frequently visited by the public:

  • buildings occupied by public authorities with a floor area of 500 m² or more which frequently visited by members of the public ('public buildings')
  • other non-domestic buildings with a floor area of 500 m² or more which are frequently visited by members of the public

On 9 January 2013, the area threshold for public buildings reduced from 1,000 m2 to 500 m2 (this threshold will further reduced to 250 m2 with effect from 9 July 2015).

What is the difference between these building types and requirement to display an EPC?

A public building is a building where:

  • the conditioned (heated/cooled) area of the building is over 500 m2
  • the building is occupied by public authorities or provides public services to a large number of persons
  • the building is frequently visited, at least weekly, by members of the general public
  • the public have a right of access to the building, or parts of the buildings providing services directly to the public
  • public funding, including part funding, is used to operate, for general upkeep, or to fund staff costs

Examples include colleges, community centres, libraries, hospitals, benefit offices and crematoria.

The Owner of a public building which meets these criteria must obtain an EPC and have it on display in a prominent place by 9 January 2013.

Other large buildings which are frequently visited by members of the public is characterised by the following:

  • has a floor area of more than 500 square metres
  • is frequently visited by the Public on at least a weekly basis
  • members of the public have an express or implied licence to enter

Examples include supermarkets, banks, sports clubs and shopping centres.

The owner of a building which meets these criteria must display an EPC only if they have a valid EPC.

They may, for example, have one from the construction sale or rental of the building.

The key difference between the two categories is that public buildings must obtain and display an EPC – other large buildings which are frequently visited by members of the public, as described above, must display the EPC only if they have one.

Where do I need to place the EPC?

The EPC has to be affixed to the building in a prominent place, which could be an area of wall which is clearly visible to the public in the main entrance lobby or reception.

Do I need a Display Energy Certificate (DEC)?

No. In Scotland all EPCs are produced using an 'asset rating', using SBEM or DSM software. A 'DEC', produced using an 'operational rating' is not valid for the purposes of meeting Scottish EPBD legislation.

Who has responsibility for producing and displaying the EPC, where a building is rented out?

It is the responsibility of the building owner, but building occupiers have a duty to ensure the EPC remains visible.

What action can be taken if the EPC is not displayed?

If the enforcement authority (Local Authority) believes that there has been a breach of the legislation they may impose a penalty charge notice to the building owner or occupier.

When does an EPC which is displayed have to be renewed?

An individual EPC will only be valid for a period of ten years. If major works were to be undertaken during this period, building owners may choose to provide a new certificate. However, this is not mandatory.

In the case of public buildings the EPC would have to be renewed immediately after the 10 year period has elapsed.

In the case of other large buildings which are frequently visited by members of the public, a new EPC need not be obtained following expiry of the previous EPC until the building is about to be marketed for sale or rental.

Do the recommended measures have to be carried out?

The European Union expects Public authorities to lead by example. By implementing the recommendations included in the EPC, buildings may reduce the amount of CO2 produced and also reduce the running costs for the buildings.

More information

We also produce a number of other EPC guidance documents that deal with specific issues:




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