Billions of pounds are being spent by landlords on upgrading office space in Manchester so that they have an energy performance certificate (EPC) of C or better.

Unless an office building achieves this rating by 2027, a landlord cannot receive further rent from their tenants. After April 2030, to relet a property, it must have an energy rating of A or B.

The EPC system rates energy efficiency from A (the highest) to E. Research by property company Savills found that 85% of UK offices currently have an EPC rating of C or below. They estimate that £63bn needs to be spent in Britain’s major cities to upgrade offices.

Tenants are looking for premium grade office space in Manchester that has a high energy efficiency rating. These properties cost less to heat and also reduce the carbon footprint of a company. Buildings with high energy efficiency are part of the government’s strategy to reach net zero carbon emissions. New Manchester office space developments are constructed to high energy efficient standards, but older office spaces often require upgrading.

There are several ways landlords can improve the energy efficiency of a building. LED lighting can be added, while gas heating can be removed and replaced by electric heat pumps – either partly or entirely powered by electricity generated from solar panels.

The Earth Director at Savills, Chris Cummings, says that the EPC standards may be revised upwards in the future. He advises landlords to not just meet but exceed current required EPC standards.