From 1 January 2020, owners of small units for non-residential use are required to have an energy performance certificate (EPB-certificate) for rental and sale in Flanders.

1. Which non-residential buildings?

Like the compulsory energy performance certificate (EPB-certificate) for private housing, owners of small units for non-residential use, such as doctor's or lawyer's offices, stores, consultancy practices, tea rooms or restaurants, etc., are required to communicate their energy performance by means of an EPB-certificate in the event of rental or sale.

As this obligation only applies to small units for non-residential use, it essentially depends on the floor space.

The Flemish government therefore had to introduce a distinction between large and small units for non-residential use.

Within this framework a small unit for non-residential use is considered to be a building or part of a building of which, on the one hand, the useful surface of the unit does not exceed 500m2, and on the other hand, the surface of the entire non-residential building, in which the unit is integrated, does not exceed 1000m2.

This means that a non-residential unit in a commercial complex is not affected by this obligation. And for units for both residential and non-residential use, a precise method of calculation is provided to assess the useful surface of the non-residential part.

2. Units not subject to this obligation

There are also exceptions at these destination and floor space rules.

Small independent units for non-residential use of less than 50m2 or greenhouses, workshops and stables of agricultural businesses should not be covered by an EPB-certificate obligation.

3. What is the purpose of an EPB-certificate?

The purpose of the EPB-certificate is to inform a tenant or buyer about the energy performance labels of the rented or purchased property by indicating the scores from A to G with the index in kWh / m2.

It provides an overview of the energy services in terms of building insulation and energy consumption, in particular for heating, ventilation, lighting, etc.

The EPB-certificate must be drawn up by a certification body of type A and is valid for 10 years.

In the Flemish region, this certificate has as from 1 January 2020 also become compulsory for small units of non-residential use. It must imperatively be communicated in rental and sale announcements, under penalty of a fine ranging from 500 to 5000 euros. A copy of the EPB-certificate must be delivered to the tenant and the original given to the buyer when signing the deed.