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Commercial / Non-domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
Key facts:

  • Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) play a crucial role within the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations, offering a clear and straightforward illustration of a building's energy efficiency. In most cases, they are legally required for non-domestic buildings, and they must be produced upon construction, sale, or lease.

 

  • Following an EPC survey, buildings are rated in the form of a letter, ranging from 'A' (the most efficient) to 'G' (the least efficient). The building owner receives a copy of the certificate and it is lodged on the government register and publicly viewable. The landlord also receives a recommendation report based on the findings of the survey giving further steps to improve the energy efficiency of their building.

 

  • EPCs remain valid for a period of 10 years from the date of lodgment, unless they are voluntarily updated with a new EPC often in the event of significant building refurbishment taking place.

  • As of April 2023, regulatory changes have elevated the standards further, making it illegal to have buildings rated 'F' or 'G,' regardless of their leasehold or tenancy status. Violations of this regulation can result in financial penalties of between £5,000 - £150,000. Anticipated future regulatory updates include a minimum 'C' rating in 2027 and a 'B' rating by 2030.

  • Haptic EPC & Advisory specialises in rapid on-site surveys in and around London, we aim to inspect your building as soon as is convenient and the reports tend to be completed within 2-3 working days, although a premium same day service is available. We also provide practical advice to enhance energy efficiency of buildings.

  • For the most complex buildings a Level 5 EPC may be required, this is a proportionally larger undertaking requiring specialist software and assessment in which we are fully qualified. We can also obtain EPC exemptions as well as BREEAM certifications upon request.

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Commercial EPC in London

Energy Efficient lighting

1. Booking & Pre-survey

Before your EPC survey providing the following information is highly beneficial, it is an 'ideal' list so don't worry if any of these are missing:-

  • A current, to-scale floorplan that includes geographical orientation and ceiling height(s).

  • The building's construction history, including any extensions or significant refurbishments.

  • Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) manuals.

  • Operations & Maintenance (O&M) manuals.

  • Lighting design specifications (including spare bulbs).

  • Records of any condition-based surveys, often conducted at the time of purchase.

  • Details of recent contractors or fit-out companies that have worked within the space.

By furnishing this information, you contribute to a more precise and comprehensive EPC assessment.

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2. Your Site Survey

Our EPC surveys are conducted by fully qualified & insured Non-Domestic Energy Assessors (NDEAs). These surveys are typically completed in less than an hour and are designed to minimise disruption to your staff. Our assessors focus on key areas such as walls, windows, Heating Ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems, and any hot water systems that may be in use.

It's essential to note that any areas or equipment inaccessible to the assessor are assumed to have default, less efficient values. Therefore, ensuring access to all areas and equipment is in your best interest.

Building Planning
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3. Post-Survey

After the on-site survey, the gathered data is meticulously collated and entered into the government's ISBEM software. This step yields two primary outcomes: the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a score ranging from 'A' to 'G' and a recommendations report detailing energy-saving suggestions.

This phase of the process constitutes the most time-consuming part. In fact, approximately 80% of the total time required to generate an EPC is dedicated to data analysis.

EPC Certificate

4. Your EPC Report

Once your EPC score has been calculated, our assessor will promptly get in touch with you for a discussion. Following the receipt of payment, we will proceed to list your certificate on the official government register, a process known as "lodgement." This ensures that your EPC is publicly accessible.

In addition to the public listing, you will also receive digital copies of both the EPC and the recommendation report. Many of our clients find this comprehensive package sufficient to continue with their business confidently. However, for those seeking more specialized guidance on achieving energy savings, our Advisory service is available to provide expert assistance.

Decoding EPC Ratings: A Guide to Understanding EPC ratings range from 'A' most efficient to 'G', the least

A+ Rated Commercial EPC

Ultra rare, super premium property - think 'Grand Designs' but built by committed energy champions, expect substantial premiums for rental, purchase or construction. to achieve A+ rating the building in question must have negative levels of emissions i.e. it generates more energy from renewables than it consumes. Less than 0.2% of buildings in the UK are A Plus rated.

A Rated

Rare buildings (less than 3% of the total building stock in the UK) with excellent and highly efficient HVAC, premium rents and potentially substantial costs to achieve.

B Rated

A strong but statistically easily achievable level of energy efficiency, around 30% of UK commercial building stock is rated B - more importantly it is expected to become the minimum legal baseline for all commercial buildings by 2030.

C Rated

The largest single current category of British buildings with 35% of the current building stock residing here, mainly due to legacy gas powered heating & hot water systems. Expected to become the minimum legal baseline for all commercial buildings in 2027.

D Rated

A substantial minority, just under 20% of the building stock in the UK is rated D, pre-regulation building materials and insulation are often the reasons for a D rating

E Rated

The current legal minimum baseline, legacy HVAC, poor building materials all in need of improvement thankfully under 10% of the building stock is in this category, will need to instigate substantive improvements before the 2027 and 2030 changes.

F&G Rated

F or G rated non-domestic buildings became illegal to lease or sell in April 2023, immediate improvements are required before they can enter into a transaction. These EPC ratings can significantly alter the value and desirability of commercial properties in London for obvious reasons.

FAQs

Q: What is the minimum EPC rating required for commercial properties in London?

Q: How often do I need to renew my commercial EPC / How long do they last?

Q: Can improving my EPC rating really save my business money?

Q: What are some common recommendations for improving EPC ratings?

Q: How does an EPC impact leasing or selling my commercial property?

Q: OK - we're sold, when can you survey our space?

Commercial EPCs in London - deep dive

the fine detail

 

Introduction to Commercial EPCs in London
 

London leads the way for the property market nationwide and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have become a cornerstone in London's commercial property sector, a legally mandated commitment to sustainability and efficiency. We argue that by the end of the decade they will be one of the most important metrics a building is judged on, as important as location and design have been in the past.  As the city continues to grow, these certificates play a pivotal role in shaping a greener built environment. It is vital that building owners seek the best insights and guidance as they look to navigate this crucial aspect of property asset management.

The Clear financial benefits of a good EPC
 

The 'green pound' is a very real phenomenon with an increasingly large number of businesses seeking to actively minimise their environmental impact, buildings with the highest EPC ratings attract up to a 15% rent uplift as firms are willing to pay a premium for them -a 15% rental premium translates directly into increased capital value of the asset itself. Undertaking a full granular EPC survey with advice remains pound-for-pound the cheapest way to improve the value of your asset.

Legal Implications and Compliance
 

As of April 2023, regulatory changes have elevated the standards further, making it illegal to have buildings rated 'F' or 'G,' regardless of their leasehold or tenancy status. Violations of this regulation can result in financial penalties of between £5,000 - £150,000. Anticipated future regulatory updates include a minimum 'C' rating in 2027 and a 'B' rating by 2030. It is also widely anticipated that financial penalties will increase to match the increasing urgency with which this matter is being taken. It falls to local authorities to enforce compliance and to fines.

Energy Efficiency Measures and the Recommendations Report
 

The recommendations report which accompanies all EPCs should be carefully examined, it will highlight some key areas for improvement, one of the things we specialise in at Haptic is taking the broad brush strokes of the report and expanding on it in a meaningful way with clients (should they wish) we can explore in-depth solutions and even model what those changes might mean for the buildings EPC rating, appropriate works can then be contracted and if required a re-certification of the space.

Case Studies: EPC Success Stories in London
 

We are immensely proud of our unblemished record with dozens of happy customers and nearly a million square feet of certified space - take a look at our portfolio of work to see the range of buildings we've surveyed in every corner of the Capital.

EPC Case studies
Rapid - Accurate - Cost-saving EPCs
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