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Commercial Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

The first thing you will notice about an EPC is that it looks similar to the energy labels that come with your car or household white goods. Its purpose is to indicate how energy efficient a particular building is, rating it from A to G, with A being very efficient and G the least efficient. The better the rating, the more energy-efficient the building is. The measure of energy performance in the building is directly related the amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) produced, based on a standard index. Ranging from simple and cost effective improvements to the building to other more expensive and long term enhancements.

Each energy rating is tailored to the individual characteristics such as age/type of the building fabric (walls, floors, roof, doors & windows) and its services which include; hot water, heating, cooling, lighting, extracts, ventilation and building control systems.

Every EPC comes with a generic recommendation report, which provides recommendations on improving the given energy rating, ranging from easy to implement and cost effective improvements to the building and more expensive upgrades such as a new heating system.

When is an EPC needed?

An EPC is legally required for all property, commercial or domestic, either when constructed, sold or let. It is now a mediatory requirement for on EPC to be obtained or commissioned before a property is marketed for sale or rent. Failure to commission an EPC within the appropriate timescale will result in an enforcement fine payable by the responsible parties involved with that property, which could be either the property agent, building owner or solicitor.

There are however certain situations when a property may fall outside the requirement to provide an EPC, such as if a commercial property is completely standalone (detached) and is also below 50m2. Other exemption rules that apply relate to directly to agricultural and heavy industrial sites and in both cases it is advised to speak to us so that we can evaluate the property in question – which we are happy to do and at no cost to you.


Historically Important or Listed Buildings

In the past few years these types of properties were exempt from the EPC requirements. However, with the introduction of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), our advice has now changed and you will now need to undertake an EPC assessment of a listed or historical building to determine whether or not you can apply for a temporary exemption from the requirements.

Special rules apply to buildings over 500sq.m

Where an EPC exists for a commercial building larger than 500sq.m which is regularly visited by the public, the EPC must be displayed in a prominent position clearly visible to those who visit the building. We think this could affect you or your clients in retail, leisure, office and factory sectors. Here buck stops with the occupier or tenant rather than the owner in situations where the premises has been rented out.

Marketing a Property for sale or rent?

When marketing any property, you are required on all written material (and all advertisements in the media) to include the EPC asset rating where available. Official guidance recommends that the full graph is included if space permits.


Useful Websites – Non-Domestic EPC Register – Domestic EPC Register – Governments Guide to Domestic EPCs – Governments Guide to Non-Domestic EPCs

Should I be concerned about a bad rating?

From April 2018, it will be unlawful to rent out a residential or commercial property that does not reach the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES), an ‘E’ rating or above on your EPC. In many cases it will be possible to improve the energy efficiency of poorly performing building to achieve an ‘E’ rating through simple and cost effective enhancements to the property, not requiring a massive expenditure from the property owner. We can help you decide which improvements are best for your property, prioritising by cost and ensure you to make the right choices, maximising the impact on the rating.

How can Survey Hub help?

When EPCs were first introduced in 2008, we were one of the very first companies to undertake the training and become qualified assessors. Over the past 10 years we have surveyed every type of property imaginable, from shell & core industrial units to grade A offices in central London. We have wealth of experience helping landlords, property owners and investors achieve the best EPC rating possible and this usually starts with a detailed survey of the property by one of our fully qualified assessors – we do not use data collectors like some of our competitors. All our assessors strive to a greater depth of understanding and are knowledgable on many building types, construction techniques and HVAC systems. Research is essential to ensure the best rating is achieved and is an area in which we excel; speaking to HVAC manufactures, conducting thorough building regulation and planning application searches and utilising the many specialist resources at our disposal, both online and in our in-house research database. Finally to produce the most accurate EPC model possible, we use an advanced software package, called Design Builder, to create a 3D model of the property. This software has a massive advantage over other software available and ensures no mistakes are made in the geometry.

It is no surprise that to us that for over 50% of the EPCs we provide for properties that already have a lodged but non-compliance EPC (below an E rating), we have through following the correct processes and our expertise, been able to improve the rating to a compliant level without the need for any additional work or improvements to the property. Saving you time and unnecessary expenditure.

Speak to one of the team today to find out more about how we can help.

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