Do Listed Buildings Need an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), is a document that highlights the energy efficiency of a property. It is based on a rating system with A being the most efficient rating and G being the least efficient rating. An EPC is a legal requirement and is valid for ten years.[1]

Buildings bought, sold, or constructed require a valid EPC, but a building might qualify for an exemption in a few instances.

The government guidance on buildings that are exempt from needing an EPC includes places of worship, buildings to be demolished, listed buildings, etc. However, expert advice must be obtained when applying for an exemption for a listed building.[2] This might imply listed buildings are exempt, but the exemption needs to be qualified.

Additionally, the Historic England website concerning listed buildings states that from January 2013, listed buildings are exempt from needing an EPC if compliance with specific minimum energy performance would unacceptably alter their character or appearance.[3]

So what is the statutory position on listed buildings concerning exemption from an EPC? It is important to examine the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England & Wales) Regulations 2007, Part 2, which concerns duties relating to energy performance certificates and under Section 4(1), [4] it clearly states that Part 2 does not apply to buildings of places of worship, temporary buildings with a time limit of use for two years, but there is no mention of listed buildings.

Furthermore, the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulation 2012, Part 2, the duties relating to Energy Performance Certificates, Section 5(1) (a) states,

buildings officially protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historical merit, in so far as compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance;”[5]

Also, by reviewing the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, [6], which introduced the minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) and meant properties must obtain an EPC and properties with a rating below E would be considered as sub-standard.

Furthermore, from 1st April 2018, MEES applied to commercial and residential rental properties. It prohibited landlords from granting or continuing tenancy with a rating of F or G. It is a legal requirement a building marketed for selling or leasing must have a valid EPC and comply with MEES.[7]

However, if a property rating is less than E, it might be a case for improving its energy ratings or checking if the building can be registered for a valid exemption. If a property does not require an EPC, there is no need to comply with MEES.

In the light of the above information, assuming a listed building is exempt from an EPC might not be straightforward. Section 5 of the Regulation 2012 might appear confusing, and exemption from an EPC might be based on what would unacceptably alter a listed building’s character or appearance.

This means to assess as to the true meaning of the wordings, ‘minimum energy performance requirements’ and to what extent the alterations would be deemed unacceptable, it would be prudent to seek advice from a qualified surveyor or an expert.

Therefore, to carry out any alterations to a listed building, Historic England states,

In general terms Listed building consent is required for all works of demolition, alteration or extension to a listed building that affect its character as a building of special architectural or  historic interest.”[8]

It might be important to assess what energy efficiency works are needed to be carried out to a listed building and evaluate if such works alter its character or appearance.

Suppose if there is a need to carry out work on a listed building, in such circumstances, if the work carried out on the building aims to improve its energy efficiency performance. Then such work might be substantial and sufficient for the property to qualify for an exemption if it unacceptably alters the building’s character or appearance.

Also, certain types of work on a listed building might have a minimal impact on its character or appearance, for instance, painting the walls inside the property or changing the boiler, which might not qualify it for an exemption.

If a building is marketed for sale or leasing but fails to comply with EPC and MEES regulations, it would mean severe consequences and risk of penalties. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure a listed building fully complies with the statutory requirements or obtains an exemption from the regulations.

In conclusion, the above example illustrates the complexity of issues associated with properties. As a property practitioner, offering advice and carrying out property transactions must be operated with complete confidence. The protection of a client’s interest needs to be at the heart of any business. Lawsure being a leading independent insurance broker, can help your business get the right balance while offering cost-effective indemnity insurance solutions.


DISCLAIMER:  Nothing said in this article constitutes legal or other professional advice and no warranty is given nor liability accepted for the contents of this article. LawSure Insurance will not accept responsibility for any loss suffered in consequence of reliance on information contained in the article.


[1] GOV.UK. 2021. Buying or selling your home. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 24 August 2021].
[2] Ibid.
[3] 2021. Energy Performance Regulations | Historic England. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 21 August 2021].
[4] 2021. The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 19 August 2021].
[5] 2021. The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 24 August 2021].
[6] 2021. The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 25 August 2021].
[7] Council, O., 2021. Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in commercial properties | Energy efficiency standards in commercial properties | Oxford City Council. [online] Available at:<> [Accessed 25 August 2021].
[8] 2021. Listed Building Consent – Planning Law Overview | Historic England. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 25August 2021].