If you run a commercial business, you may be legally obligated to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
Energy efficiency is a key focus for many companies. It helps lower your bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
It's important to find out your business' EPC rating. This can offer the information you need to increase energy efficiency.
What Is an EPC?
An EPC is a document used to indicate a property’s level of energy efficiency. Businesses are provided with a commercial EPC. This rates their efficiency from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient).
As well as an efficiency rating, businesses are also provided with recommendations of ways to boost their energy efficiency.
All commercial businesses are required to obtain an EPC unless they have been deemed legally exempt. Additionally, in line with regulations set out by the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), all private commercial properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E.
Your business’ EPC remains valid for 10 years.
Here is an example of a commercial EPC:
How to Get A Commercial EPC
To get an EPC for your business, you’ll need to contact a commercial energy assessor and arrange an energy survey for your building.
The price of your EPC will depend on the size of your establishment and the complexity of its structure. The type of assessor required for your energy survey will also impact the price.
Businesses are placed in the following categories:
These buildings are similar in structure to domestic residences. They will often contain natural ventilation and small heating/cooling systems. Buildings in this category can be assessed by level 3 assessors and above.
These types of buildings contain advanced features. This could be complex heating, ventilation, and cooling systems. They will typically require an assessor who has been trained at level 4 and above.
Does my business need an EPC?
According to government rules, you will need to obtain an EPC for your business if:
- The building is being rented or sold
- The premises was previously under construction but works have now been completed.
- Modifications are made to the establishment for other occupations. This includes changes or additions to heating, ventilation, or air systems.
If your commercial building meets any of the above criteria, you must obtain a valid EPC. Failing to do so could result in you being fined up to £5,000.
If you believe that you have been charged an unfair penalty charge, you can launch an appeal. You can find information on appealing your penalty charge here.
Which businesses don’t need an EPC?
Some businesses are not required to have an Energy Performance Certificate. If your company fits into any of the following categories, you may be legally exempt from having to obtain an EPC.
- Detached buildings with a floor space of below 50 square metres.
- Temporary buildings
- Places of worship
- Officially protected buildings where the requirements for an EPC would cause an unsuitable change.
- Industrial and agricultural sites with low energy consumption.
- Buildings planned for demolition
Should I have my commercial EPC on display?
Depending on the type of business you run, you may be required to have your Energy Performance Certificate on display. Businesses with the following features are required by law to fix their EPC’s to their building:
- A total floor space of over 500 square metres.
- Used regularly by the public.
- Buildings where an EPC has been produced for the building’s construction, rental, or sale
It is key that you properly display your EPC rating if your business meets any of the above criteria. Failing to do so could lead to you being issued a penalty charge.
Why should I improve my business’ EPC?
Making an effort to improve your EPC rating can help your business in several ways. For example:
Lower energy bills
By implementing energy-efficient measures, you’ll be able to reduce your energy consumption. This can mean lower bills and more opportunities to save. You could further increase your savings by comparing energy prices and switching to a cheaper business energy tariff.
Reduced carbon footprint
Increasing your business’ energy efficiency can also help to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. This lowers your business’ carbon footprint and helps you do your bit for the environment.
A low EPC rating is not a good look. Especially with the current focus on environmental sustainability. By increasing your EPC rating, you could boost your green credentials and show your consumers and partners that you are committed to helping the environment. This could increase your reputation and help you stand out from your competitors.
Bonus tip: Selecting a green energy tariff can also help to boost your green credentials.
How can I improve my commercial EPC rating?
There are plenty of ways to increase your EPC rating. Here at Business Energy, we specialise in helping businesses like yours increase their energy efficiency.
Here are our top recommendations for increasing your business’ energy efficiency:
Conduct an energy audit
The first step to improving your business EPC rating is to identify where efficiency can be improved. An energy audit can help you do this. If you run a large business, you may have to organise an audit with a professional. However, smaller enterprises are often able to perform a DIY energy audit.
Get your team onboard
Improving energy efficiency requires commitment from all members of your team. You should ensure that your staff are aware of your objectives and encourage them to use energy efficiently. You could even set up incentives to boost engagement.
A significant amount of your energy bill tends to go towards heating your building. To reduce your consumption, you should seek to retain as much heat as possible. Insulating your walls, roof, and floors can help to keep heat in and reduce your reliance on your heating system. Draught-proofing is another effective energy-saving measure that can help to retain heat in your building.
LED (Light-Emitting Diodes) lights are 90% more efficient than traditional incandescent lights. They can also last up to 25 times longer. You could therefore save a significant amount of energy by replacing your standard lightbulbs with energy-efficient alternatives.
Bonus Tip: Investing in light sensors can ensure that lights are used efficiently in your business and prevent energy from being wasted in unoccupied rooms.
Make sure your heating is efficient
An inefficient boiler and old radiators can lead to a significant amount of energy wastage. Getting a new A-rated boiler installed and upgrading your radiators can make your heating more efficient and provide you with better quality heating and hot water.
Invest in energy-efficient appliances
Upgrading your appliances is a great way to reduce energy usage. Investing in new, energy-efficient computers, dishwashers, and appliances can help to lower your energy wastage and help you save.
Purchase smart controls
A smart meter can help you keep track of your business’ energy usage. You can then use this information to identify inefficiencies. From there, you can make a plan to tackle energy waste and reduce your consumption.
A smart thermostat can also help you gain greater control over your heating. These devices feature WIFI control, so you can access and modify your heating settings from anywhere using an interactive app.
Add a renewable energy source
Adding a renewable energy source such as solar panels, wind turbines, or hydroelectric power can boost your green credentials and help you increase your EPC rating. These sources emit significantly fewer greenhouse gasses than fossil fuels and help to preserve the environment.
Investing in a renewable energy source can also provide you with another stream of income. You can export excess energy to the National Grid and receive payments through the government’s Feed-In-Tariff scheme.
Be sure to document improvements
You should document all the efficiency improvements that you make in your business. Information which can act as evidence in your next EPC survey includes:
- Model numbers
- Extraction rates
Documenting these can then improve your chances of receiving an increased rating. Failing to provide sufficient evidence of your efficiency measures can result in them not being acknowledged or included in your survey.
Don’t waste your energy savings!
When you invest time and money into reducing your energy consumption, you want your bills to be as low as possible. However, if you’re on the wrong energy tariff, you could still be missing out on significant savings.
Find out if you can reduce your energy bills by comparing energy prices with Business Energy today.