Big fines, even jail time looming over Commercial Property Owners who do not have Energy Performance Certificates by 7 December 2025 – By Luthando Mbali

South Africa is going green and gearing towards monitoring energy consumption by knowing the actual energy consumption. This has paved the way for Energy Performance Certificates which are now mandatory for private commercial property owners.

Commercial property owners have no choice but to either obtain their Energy Performance certificates (EPC) if they are non-compliant by 7th December 2025, or they can face up to 5 years of imprisonment, a R5 million fine or even both. 

An Energy Performance Certificate is a certificate that is issued by an accredited body in respect of a building in accordance with the South African National Standard SANS1544:2014. This indicates the energy performance of a building. 

The non-residential buildings will be required by law to display an Energy Performance Certificate, the certificate will depict the buildings energy use intensity by colour coding it A-G.  

  • A = Perfect Score, most energy efficient 
  • D = Average Score 
  • G = Worst score 

In terms of compliance, the Energy Performance Certificates must be displayed at the buildings main entrance and will be mandatory from the 7th of December 2025 for non-residential buildings in the private sector with a total net floor of 2000 meters squared. 

Buildings that must be compliant are: 

  • Public assembly and entertainment – Gyms, Bars, Nightclubs and Restaurants. 
  • Indoor sports and theatre – Live theatres, Movies and Indoor Sports 
  • Places of worship or education – Schools (University, Colleges) and Churches 
  • Offices – Parts of campuses, offices parks and stand alone 
  • Shopping centers 
  • Government buildings – Larger than 1000 square meters

How to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate 

The owner of the non-residential building must gather information on the building which will include the electricity consumption for the year, net floor area, information on areas excluded, vacancy rates and most importantly contract a SANAS accredited inspection body to conduct an official inspection. 

Property owners of non-residential buildings and Government entities have until the 7th of December 2025 to ensure that their building adheres to the regulations. 

References: Internet Sources 

Crunch Time For Energy Rating, or Face Fines and Prison. 

https://greeneconomyjournal.com/news-analysis/crunch-time-for-energy-ratings-or-face-fines-and-prison/ (accessed on 3 October 2022) 

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