Energy Performance Certificates (Commercial)

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) are now required for all Non-Domestic buildings whenever built, rented or sold. There are a few exceptions as to when a Certificate is not required (religious use buildings, stand-alone buildings less than 50m2) however it is rare for the exemption conditions to apply so it is always safer to assume that the subject building does require a certificate until confirmed otherwise.

The certificate records how energy efficient a property is as a building and provides A-G ratings. These are similar to the labels now provided with domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. Unlike the Domestic Certificates there is just the one graph for commercial properties, with the lower the Carbon emissions the higher the rating.

Non-domestic EPC’s are produced using standard methods and assumptions about energy usage so that the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another building of the same type. This allows prospective buyers, tenants, owners, occupiers and purchasers to see information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions from their building so they can consider energy efficiency and fuel costs as part of their investment.

The process for creating an EPC for non-domestic buildings, as mentioned, is much more involved. the method used is the Government Approved UK National Calculation Methodology. And this data is modelled in SBEM (Simplified Building Energy Model) to perform all the necessary calculations to assimilate what the expected Carbon emissions should be. The data required to model the actual building is the area of every thermal element walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, windows and doors, the lighting systems in place types of lamps, sensors, fittings etc. the Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC) systems in place including their controls, the hot water delivery systems and their controls. The building is divided into zones with the individual measurements of each element recorded for each zone.

With such involvement the results are more accurate but of course, given the greater complexity and time involved the costs are somewhat greater than those for their domestic counterparts. This can be offset against the savings it is possible to make through the recommendations that accompany the report.

cea-graph 2An EPC is always accompanied by a recommendation report that lists cost effective and other measures such as low and zero carbon generating systems to improve the energy rating. Each recommendation is assessed against the potential impact over three payback periods in addition to other measures based on an understanding of the building and indicates whether the impact is High, Medium or Low. R K Lucas & Son take the production of these certificates seriously and advocate the real opportunities that they generate to lower the carbon output from buildings as well as save money. That is why all our professional energy reports for commercial premises are contained within a bound report that encompasses the EPC, the Recommendations Report and relevant information with regard the areas that our assessor identifies that the greatest savings can be made.

The certificate is important because nearly 50 per cent of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions arise from the way our buildings are lit, heated and used. Even comparatively minor changes in energy performance and the way we use each building will have a significant effect in reducing energy consumption.

If you would like to discuss your requirements or would like us to quote you for a non-domestic EPC please contact us. If you would like to find out more about Commercial Energy Performance Certificates then the Communities & Local Government website has some further details here.