COMMERCIAL ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES

What is a Non Domestic EPC?

An EPC is required when a property is offered for sale or let on the open market and it provides an energy rating for a building based on the performance potential of the building itself.

The fabric, the building services (such as heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and lighting), and activities within the building are considered.

The Rating is on a scale of A to G, where A is very efficient and G is the least efficient. The more energy-efficient the building is, the lower the fuel bills are likely to be. The energy performance of the building is shown as a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) based index.

The energy rating given on the certificate reflects the intrinsic energy performance standard of the building relative to a benchmark which can then be used to make comparisons with comparable properties. It is accompanied by a recommendation report, which provides recommendations on how the energy performance of the building could be enhanced, together with an indication of the payback period.

The fabric, the building services (such as heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and lighting), and activities within the building are considered. The Rating is on a scale of A to G, where A is very efficient and G is the least efficient.

The more energy-efficient the building is, the lower the fuel bills are likely to be. The energy performance of the building is shown as a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) based index.

The energy rating given on the certificate reflects the intrinsic energy performance standard of the building relative to a benchmark which can then be used to make comparisons with comparable properties. It is accompanied by a recommendation report, which provides recommendations on how the energy performance of the building could be enhanced, together with an indication of the payback period.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is intended to inform potential buyers or tenants about the energy performance of a building. This enables energy efficiency to form part of an investment or business decision to buy or occupy that building.

What information is required to produce an EPC?

The energy assessor will need to understand the internal layout of the building and for what purposes it is designed to be used. The information required to produce an EPC includes:

  • The construction of the fabric of the building and thermal efficiency of the materials used: roof, floors, doors, walls and glazing.
  • Information regarding activities within individual spaces or zones of the building along with their dimensions (either as verified from plans or as measured).
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning for each zone (including the type of system, metering, controls, and fuels used etc.).
  • Lighting type and controls within the spaces or zones.

How is the information Collected from site?

In order to collect the relevant data, an assessor must carry out a physical inspection of the building. This process is non-invasive, but requires access to all areas of the building. The assessor will inspect:

  • HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning)
  • HWS (Hot water systems)
  • Lighting and controls
  • Building fabric (walls, floor, roof, insulation, windows and doors)
  • Utilities (i.e. gas, electric etc)
  • LZC (low and zero carbon) systems that have been installed.
  • Floor plans including dimensions (unless these have been provided and sampled to ensure that dimensions are correct.).
  • Photographs to assist with the data input and to provide the supporting evidence that the certification schemes require for their Quality Assurance assessments of energy assessors.

Note - The exception to this would be when a New Build is assessed from plans and specification without the need fora site visit.

Buildings that don’t need an EPC?

  • Temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
  • Detached commercial properties with a total floor space of less than 50 square metres
  • Some buildings that are due to be demolished
  • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
  • Listed buildings – seek advice from your local authority conservation officer if any work to be done would alter the building’s character
  • Places of worship

What are the penalties for not having an EPC?

The penalty for failing to make an EPC available to any prospective buyer or tenant when selling or renting a non-domestic dwelling is fixed, in most cases, at 12.5 per cent of the rateable value of the building, with a default penalty of £750 where the formula cannot be applied. The range of penalties under this formula are set with a minimum of £500 and capped at a maximum of £5,000!

Non Domestic Energy Assessor

There are 3 levels of competence for Non Domestic Energy Assessors (NDEA) – Level 3Assessors can only produce Energy Performance Certificate’s (EPC’s) for existing buildings that have low temperature hot water boilers under 100KW and/or air conditioning below 12kW. Therefore a level 3 assessors cannot provide an SBEM calculation for any Part L compliance.

Level 4 assessors can produce Part L compliance checks and EPC’s on both existing and new buildings, which include both low, medium and high temperature boilers as well as nearly all types of air conditioning. In fact level 4 assessors can provide both the Part L checks and EPC on nearly all buildings with the following exceptions

Buildings with Ventilation with enhanced thermal cooling to the structure, automatic blind controls and those with atria.

A Level 5 assessor must produce these reports, usually by utilising some Dynamic Simulation Modelling and not SBEM.