An EPC is an acronym that stands for an energy performance certificate, which is required for commercial and domestic buildings. Commercial EPCs are posted online for a period of 10 years and are visible to the public domain.
What is a commercial EPC?
EPCS are used to help buildings comply with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations. The current MEES regulations make it unlawful to let a commercial property with an EPC rating below E (subject to various exemptions).
What are the incoming changes to EPC requirements
The UK government are tightening the requirements, requiring a minimum commercial EPC rating of B by 2030. To ensure that changes are not being delayed until 2030, an interim EPC milestone has been set to C by 2027. This means there is a 5-year window to start improving commercial buildings that have EPCs that fall below this standard.
Buildings that fail the EPC requirement deadlines of 2027 and 2030 will then be in a breach of MEES regulations.
What is reviewed during an EPC?
- Heating, cooling, hot water and ventilation services
- Footprint of the building
- The fabric of the building (calculated ‘U-Values’)
What are the challenges to improve my EPC?
With 80% of office buildings currently below the minimum standard of B for 2030, investment capital will likely be required to allow for this to be upgraded and improve U-Values. For example, improvements may be required such as improving insulation or moving away from fossil fuel-dependent assets.
What can you do to prepare for this?
Investing in your building in a structured manner, rather than leaving it all until closer to the deadline will allow you to spread the cost and manage your budget, allowing for upgrade provisions.
This structured approach can make tangible differences to the buildings EPC rating by making informed timely decisions regarding plant replacement and energy improvements. If all lighting, ventilation and heating improvements are left until nearer the deadline, the result could be that costs quickly become unmanageable and could lead to commercial impacts such as loss of revenue and commercial tenants.
How can Hemlow help?
- At Hemlow, we take all of the above into account, so when we mobilise our new contracts, we undertake plant/ asset condition reports assessing the plant conditions and basic efficiencies of all plant currently in service. Our condition reports lifespan all assets (according to industry guidance) and provide practical recommendations on how to overhaul the plant to become more efficient, to reduce energy consumption with estimated figures for replacement.
- In addition to this, we can further assist our clients to forecast with their recommended building investments by providing capital expenditure reports. Our technical support team can advise our commercial clients on how to plan and invest in their building over a period of 60 months for plant replacements/ improvements and operational expenditure. As a result, if the report recommendations are being followed, the client should not get any ‘shock’ investment costs within this period and can budget accordingly for building improvements.
- Hemlow’s technical team can also provide energy strategy reports, identifying the key areas of energy consumption/ waste and carbon emissions (please see the website for more details). The reports will then provide practical recommendations to improve energy efficiency including recommended plant improvements and upgrades which can help with the buildings EPC rating.