With the end of COP26, we have seen a huge upturn in the need for rapid change to our residential and commercial properties with the aim of achieving zero carbon emissions.
You may have heard Prime Minister, Boris Johnson say in the summit that he was committed to the ‘ambition’ of ending the sale of all gas boilers by 2035. But we must do more than this, and sooner.
Improving the whole of your commercial property to reduce lost energy is something you can do now. Not only will it reduce your carbon footprint, but it will help attract the best tenants to your properties too.
A commercial EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is really no different from the domestic version. It’s an energy efficiency rating between G (least energy efficient) and A (most efficient).
When you need an EPC
You must have an EPC if:
- you rent out or sell the premises
- a building under construction is finished
- there are changes to the number of parts used for separate occupation and these changes involve providing or extending fixed heating, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation systems.
You can be fined between £500 and £5,000 based on the rateable value of the building if you don’t make an EPC available to any prospective buyer or tenant. Gov.uk
So, how can improve your EPC?
First and foremost, we would recommend you speak to your assessor. If an EPC has been given recently, their report should reflect some changes that could improve your rating. You may also be able to get a predictive EPC to guide you in the areas that need improvement. If this is not possible, then here are seven other things you can do to make improvements…
- Check your lighting
Is it energy efficient? Lighting actually has a bigger impact on a commercial property than a domestic one, so it’s an important place to start. A good electrician (hint hint), will do an overview for you and look at ways a new lighting design could save you money and make your property more attractive to commercial tenants
- Heating methods
Again, this can have a major impact on your energy rating, especially if you have large open areas and are using electric or hot air heaters. It might be worth considering an air conditioning system, or getting your existing AC serviced
- Hot water heaters
Oddly, having no hot water at all is not as good for your EPC rating as having a single, point of use hot water heater in your office or bathroom areas. These are relatively easy to have fitted
- Heating and lighting controls
If all your heating and lighting appear to be energy efficient, have you checked that they are only used at the right times? Occupancy sensing lighting controls are relatively simple to fit during an electrical redesign, and zonal thermostatic heating controls are very easy to fit
- Insulation, insulation, insulation!
Your walls and roof, especially in a warehouse are a huge source of heat loss and are responsible for many poor EPC ratings. During refurbs, we always look at your insulation solutions. Even basic insulation can go a long way to help
- Renewable energy
Solar panels, biomass and combined heat & power electricity can all be utilised in commercial properties. Right now in Oxfordshire, there are grants available supporting small and medium sized businesses to become more ‘green’. Look up Low Carbon Oxford, Funding
- Have proof of improvement works
Some improvements simply can’t be seen by an assessor, so it is key to be able to provide proof of works undertaken to make improvements to your energy efficiency.
Acting as your Principal Contractor or Project Manager during refurbishment, our team pull together the experts you need to get the job done properly. You won’t need to do the research into local contractors, that’s our job, and our on-site team manage the trades and coordinate procurement to keep your project running and to completion on time.
It’s never too early to ask for help on a project such as this, so get in touch and we’ll come out and give you a fair and honest opinion of what can be done to improve your commercial EPC.