The Institution of Commercial Business Agents (ICBA) has rejected calls for agents to be responsible for providing an Energy Performance Certificate for commercial properties.

An EPC is needed when a property is either sold or rented. According to the ICBA, EPCs for commercial properties cost about £500.

Currently the provision of an EPC rests with the owner of the property. Michael Hare, chairman of the ICBA said: “An agent is there to guide and lead clients through the [sales or letting] process, but it would be wrong for the agent to shoulder the financial risk of the owners’ environmental responsibilities”.

The ICBA also called on the government to clarify at what stage an EPC is required during a property sale or letting.

Hare said: “My own view is that an EPC must be available when a request for details is made. However, many agents would not send the EPC with this initial marketing material, even if they had it on file”.

He added: “Some direct criteria and guidance from the government would clarify the problem and ensure that owners to not get into difficulties and risk financial penalties”.