A domestic EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) and a commercial EPC are similar, but several key differences separate the two. In particular, a commercial EPC is far more detailed than a domestic EPC, both in terms of the inspection and the recommendations provided. For that reason, a commercial EPC typically takes longer than a domestic EPC to inspect, evaluate, and produce. What’s more, a commercial EPC usually requires an energy assessor with higher technical skills and knowledge due to the more intensive assessment process. Hence why the cost of a commercial EPC is often higher than that of a domestic EPC. If you own a commercial building, then here’s everything you need to know about obtaining a commercial energy assessment.

What is a commercial assessment?

A commercial EPC is an energy assessment carried out on a building used for commercial purposes, i.e. a hotel, office, or warehouse. The document provides a record of how energy-efficient the building is by providing an energy rating of A-G. The most energy-efficient buildings will receive a rating of A, while the least energy-efficient buildings will be placed in band G. Under current regulations, all commercial buildings must have an EPC assessment carried out if the building is to be sold, leased, or is having construction work carried out. During a commercial EPC, a qualified assessor will visit your building and carry out an inspection. The data will later be analysed before providing your property with an energy rating as described above. You will also be provided with detailed recommendations on how to improve the energy performance of your building. This may include improvements such as – upgrading insulation, installing double glazed windows, and switching to more eco-friendly appliances. Once you have a commercial EPC completed, it will last for 10 years, which is the same as a domestic EPC. You will not usually need to have another one carried out before this period unless you make major changes to the building.

When is one required?

An EPC is required for most commercial properties. If you are selling or leasing out your commercial property or have decided to carry out construction work or alterations to said property, an EPC is needed. If any work is carried out that may affect energy ratings, an EPC is required. There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, properties with no roof, places of worship, temporary buildings, and buildings scheduled to be demolished, may not require an EPC. Always contact your local authority of EPC specialists if you’re unsure whether your commercial building requires an energy assessment. Our EPC London team can assist you in this regard.

Why are they important? 

EPCs and minimum energy standards were brought in to help tackle climate change by ensuring that all domestic and commercial buildings are running in the most environmentally friendly way possible. According to a recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme – “Buildings-related CO2 emissions have continued to rise by around 1% per year since 2010 and now account for around 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions.” In response to this, governments all around the world are working towards a greener and healthier future by introducing campaigns that support green practices. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were brought into force in England and Wales on 1st April 2018 to help make all properties greener and more sustainable. In addition to the environmental benefits, minimum energy standards are also an excellent way to tackle fuel poverty. This is because properties with lower EPC ratings are typically far more expensive to heat. Statistics show that fuel poverty affects around 2.55 million households in England. Improving the EPC rating of your commercial property could save you huge amounts of energy in the long run by making your property far more affordable to heat, especially during the cold winter months.

Summary

A commercial EPC is a valuable document that provides a detailed overview of the energy performance of your property. The recommendations provided on an EPC will enable you to create a more efficient building by carrying out energy improvements on your property. Having a good energy efficiency rating can also be an effective way to attract buyers or tenants as it means lower fuel costs for them in the future. An energy assessment is a legal requirement that applies to the majority of commercial buildings. If you’re unsure whether you require a commercial EPC or would like to discuss the benefits, then contact your local EPC specialists for further advice.