When it comes to understanding the energy performance of a building, the building owner has a choice.
They can use an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if they want an independent certification to verify their property’s energy efficiency. Or they can check out Business Energy Comparison sites online to help them out.
The EPC is required by legislation in all regions of the UK, and it is the government’s standard for rating a building’s energy efficiency and contribution to climate change.
What is a Commercial Energy Performance Certificate?
A Commercial Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an energy efficiency rating for a building that uses measures of its performance to help people understand how efficient it will be to run.
They introduced this in England and Wales in 2007, and in 2008 it was introduced in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
It’s worth noting that there are ECPs that exist for residential properties.
CEPCs are issued to landlords by accredited organizations, and they give a rating between A+ and G, with A+ being the most efficient.
The ratings are from the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by a property, compared with what might be at that grade.
In addition, it provides information on the property’s energy consumption and helps reduce carbon emissions by encouraging improvements.
Do all buildings need an EPC?
There are several answers to this question. But first, you must have a commercial EPC if:
- You are a landlord who rents out or sells the premises.
- The building is now complete.
- If there are alterations to the number of parts within the building, people use them for different occupations. This involves changes or additions to the heating, air, and ventilation systems.
If you can prove that the building is any of the following, then you don’t need an EPC:
- listed, and the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it
- a temporary structure that you will only use for two years
- used as a place of worship or religious activities
- an industrial site such as workshops or non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use much energy
- a detached building, often with a total floor space of less than 50 square meters
- a facility to be demolished, providing all the appropriate planning and conservation consents.
A building is also let off if all of the following apply:
- it’s about to be sold or rented out with vacant possession,
- it is suitable for demolition, and you can redevelop the site
- the buyer or tenant has requested planning permission to demolish the structure
How do you get EPC?
There are three ways to get an EPC:
- If you’re buying a new home, your solicitor will arrange for an EPC to be carried out by a professional assessor. The cost will is with the legal fees for buying the property.
- If you’re renting a property, your landlord must provide you with an Energy Performance Certificate within 28 days of receiving your request in writing.
- If you’re selling a property, a professional assessor must have one done for free before putting it on the market.
How much does it cost?
The cost of an EPC will vary depending on the building. However, you can expect to pay between £100 and £200, plus VAT.
How long does a commercial EPC last?
Commercial EPCs, just like domestic EPCs, are valid for ten years.
What happens during the assessor’s visit?
The assessor will look around your property and ask questions about energy use. They’ll also use a special meter to measure how much energy you use in each room of your home.
If there’s anything you need to do to make sure it’s as efficient as possible, the assessor will let you know. It could be as plain as changing the temperature on a thermostat or turning off lights in empty rooms.
The assessor will also check if any problems with the building’s insulation or ventilation could cause it to lose heat or cool more quickly than necessary.
If they find any issues, they can recommend ways for you to fix them and improve the efficiency of your property.
What EPC rating do you need?
According to new legislation that went into effect in April 2018, if you want to lease commercial property to a new tenant or reissue a lease with an existing tenant, the property must have an EPC rating of ‘E’ or above.
If the property has an ‘F’ or ‘G’ rating, you will be unable to lease it and will need to investigate measures to increase its energy efficiency.
These requirements will apply to all leases, including existing ones, beginning in April 2023.
Furthermore, as part of the government’s promise to achieve an 80% decrease in CO2 emissions by 2050, rental homes will most likely be required to have a ‘D’ rating or higher by 2025 and a ‘C’ rating or higher by 2030.
Do you need to display your EPC?
If all of the following terms apply, you must show the EPC by attaching it to your business building:
- The entire usable floor area exceeds 500 square meters.
- The public routinely visits the structure.
- An EPC is ready for the building’s sale, rental, or development.
If you do not provide an EPC to any prospective buyer or tenant, you may be penalized between £500 and £5,000. This will also depend on the rateable value of the building.
Can you appeal a penalty charge?
You may appeal and request a review if you have been unfairly penalized for not having an EPC. Your penalty charge notice should include instructions on how to proceed.
You will receive a letter confirming the penalty if they deny your appeal.
You can then file an appeal with the county court (or sheriff court in Scotland), but you must accomplish so within 28 days of receiving your confirmed sentence.
Businesses need to concern themselves with energy conservation and how it relates to their bottom line. One easy way for a company to achieve this is by implementing an energy monitoring system.
A business can use several systems to monitor their energy consumption, but none is as helpful as getting an Energy Performance Certificate.
With this certificate, companies can obtain the data needed to reduce their energy consumption and save money over time.
They’ll be able to do so because businesses will have access to information regarding how their facilities use energy and what improvements they can make to lower expenses.
For any business, achieving success is all about saving money in one way or another, and these certificates will serve as an excellent resource in helping them achieve just that.