February figures on premises for sale or rent for show a 3% improvement on previous month

Only 39% of commercial properties for sale or rent had energy performance certificates in February.

The monthly index, run by NES and Building.co.uk, monitors how many commercial buildings currently being marketed have a valid EPC. In February 61% of commercial properties identifiable on the government's central register did not have an EPC lodged, however this is a 3% improvement on the previous month.

Paul Taylor of East Sussex council said: "Having conducted a lot of work into improving compliance with commercial EPCs, I am fully aware of the obstacles preventing the levels of compliance NDEAs would like to see”. According to Taylor the legislation contains too many grey areas, the fines are too low and not many people complain about the lack of an EPC.

East Sussex council is sending advice out to commercial agents and conducting visits requesting EPCs on properties. “This is beginning to help increase compliance but it is certainly an uphill journey with a long way still to go sais Taylor".

The index has been introduced to follow up on NES' research in June 2009, which showed that more than 80% of commercial property agents were unable to supply a mandatory EPC for the offices or shops they were marketing. The sample for February includes 1084 buildings taken from the areas of Cumbria, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex and an update of the Leicester region and includes properties that have a floor area in excess of 50m² and which have been on the market for at least six months.