What Do Energy Performance Certificates Include?
An EPC is usually made up of four main bits of information. These are energy costs, energy efficiency ratings, performance-related features and recommendations. Let's take a look at each of these more closely and understand exactly what we can learn from an EPC:
An EPC will include estimates for your current and potential business gas and electricity costs. These costs take into account lighting, heating and hot water, but no additional appliances such as a TV or oven. The current estimate gives you a rough idea of how much your business will have to spend on energy with its current efficiency rating.
On the other hand, the potential estimate lets you know how much you could save if your premises had a better energy efficiency rating. This statistic can be quite eye-opening, especially if your building has a lower EPC rating.
Business owners are often encouraged to make energy-efficient changes after seeing this information. At the end of the report, the energy assessor will provide some recommendations on how you can work to improve the efficiency rating of the premises.
Energy efficiency ratings
The next part of the EPC report will consist of an energy efficiency rating table. This table will show where your buildings rank on the efficiency of scale, using the A-G rating system. You'll also be able to see the potential rating that the premises could achieve in the future.
Some EPCs will also include a similar table that displays a property's environmental performance. This is measured slightly differently to energy efficiency, but making energy-saving improvements will often improve the rating in both areas.
The final part of this section contains the "top actions" you can take to improve the efficiency rating of your business premises. These actions are essentially the most important points from the recommendations section. Following the top actions is the quickest route to a better EPC rating.
The "performance" section of the EPC will break down individual elements of your property, and give each of them their own efficiency rating. For example, your walls might receive a four-star rating, but your windows just two stars.
Some of the other categories included in the breakdown are:
- Main heating
- Main heating controls
- Hot water
These individual scores make it easy to see exactly why your premises are being held back from receiving a higher efficiency rating. The breakdown is the main thing that your accredited energy assessor will use when making their recommendations for improvement.
How To Get An EPC For Your Business Premises
The only way to get a valid EPC is through an accredited domestic energy assessor. You can find your local assessor via the gov.uk website, and get in touch with them to arrange an assessment. You may also be able to contact your business energy supplier and get an EPC through them.
The price of an EPC depends on a few factors, including the size of your premises, the complexity of the buildings, as well as the type of assessor you need for the job. Assessors place business premises into two main categories - simple and complex:
Simple buildings are those that are similar in size and structure to traditional domestic dwellings. This means that they typically have a small heating system and some level of natural ventilation. Many small businesses that don't have specialist equipment will fall into this category.
Simple business premises require assessors who have been trained to a level 3 or above.
Complex buildings usually contained advanced features and systems. This could be a large heating system or something that is specific to the work done by the business. For example, a business working with chemicals will usually have a more complicated ventilation system than others.
Assessors need to be trained to at least level 4 in order to legally assess complex business premises.
Displaying Your EPC
Businesses must display energy certificates visibly on their premises if any of the following apply:
- Their buildings are visited frequently by the public
- The "useful floor area" of the building is over 500 square metres
- If the building is up for sale, rental or their are construction works taking place
Find out more about Energy Performance Certificates at Business Energy UK today!