An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates how energy efficient your building is. It looks at the building’s fabric and any installed heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems and uses a grading system from A to G with A being the most efficient grade. Energy Performance Certificates are valid for 10 years.
Why is an EPC important?
Energy Performance Certificates are part of a range of government initiatives aimed at improving and raising awareness of energy efficiency. The energy rating of a building can affect the value of the property when it is offered for sale or rent and some organisations will specifically look for ‘green’ premises as part of their corporate social responsibility.
Understanding the energy efficiency of your property can also help you make decisions about whether to invest in improvements as a way of improving your rating and reducing your running costs.
How do I get a Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificate?
An Energy Performance Certificate can only be issued by a commercial energy assessor. It is important to choose an accredited energy assessor as the EPC can only be entered onto the Energy Performance of Buildings register if it has been issued by an assessor belonging to a government approved scheme. Check the assessor’s credentials carefully as there have been a number of reported incidents of fraud and bad practice.
Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificates fall into three categories (Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5) dependent on the type of building and you will need to find an assessor who is qualified to issue EPCs at the appropriate level.
Level 3 - Small buildings such as converted domestic, with heating systems less than 100kw and cooling systems less than 12kw
Level 4 - Small purpose-built office buildings, with heating systems greater than 100kw and cooling systems greater than 12kw.
Level 5 – Large commercial buildings with complex structures such as ventilation with enhanced thermal coupling, automatic blind control, curved glass and night time cooling.
All new build properties will be Level 4 or above and should be carried out by a Level 4 Assessor who is trained to produce an EPC based on the new build assessment.
What does the assessment involve?
The assessor will need data about the building’s construction and information about any alterations to the building’s fabric that have been carried out since it was built. People often assume that the assessment involves a review of energy bills but an EPC is looking at the fabric of the building and not its energy billing information. The cost of energy will depend on how much energy the current occupier is using for heating, lighting and equipment and is too variable to allow for an accurate evaluation of energy efficiency.
However, the assessor will need to know about the building services and activities taking place at the premises according to the planning class of the building.
Assessors use a combination of visual inspection and measured surveying to collate the data they need to calculate the EPC rating.
Orchard Facilities Management has its own in-house EPC Assessors who can carry out assessments at Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5. To find out more contact the technical team at Orchard Facilities Management on 01422 880 180