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Most commercial businesses are required by law to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If you’re a business owner or commercial property owner, this guide will provide you with all the help and advice you need about business EPCs.

What Is An EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate indicates a property’s level of energy efficiency. Properties are rated from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), and recommendations for efficiency improvement are also provided.

According to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), all privately commercial and domestic properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E unless legally exempt. Once you have obtained a commercial EPC for your business, it will remain valid for 10 years.

How To Get A Commercial EPC

To get a commercial EPC, you should get in touch with a commercial energy assessor to organise an energy survey; you’ll then be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate.

Your premises’ size and the complexity of its structure will have an impact on the price of the EPC and the type of assessor that is required. Most commercial properties fit into the category for the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM), which is used for Level 3 and Level 4 buildings. Other more complex properties are assessed by Level 5 energy assessors using the Dynamic Simulation Model (DSM).

Once your commercial EPC has been created and lodged, it should be available for anyone to view on www.ndepcregister.com. You will need to search the RRN number located at the top right of the certificate. 

Do I Need A Commercial EPC?

You will need to obtain a commercial EPC if:

  • The building is being rented or sold
  • The building was previously under construction but is now completed.
  • Altercations are made to the premises for other occupations which involve changes or additions to heating, ventilation or air systems.

If your commercial property fits into any of the above categories, you are legally required to obtain a valid EPC. Failing to do so could lead to a fine of up to £5,000. Furthermore, a building can only have one valid commercial EPC at a time.

If you think that you’ve been unfairly issued a penalty charge regarding a business EPC, you could look into appealing it. Find out information on appealing the charge here.

When Don’t I Need An EPC?

Not all commercial properties require an EPC. The following buildings are typically exempt from having to obtain an EPC:

  • Detached buildings with a floor space that is below 50 square metres. 
  • Temporary buildings that have a lifespan of 2 years or less.
  • Places of worship e.g. churches, synagogues and mosques.
  • Officially protected buildings where EPC requirements would lead to an unsuitable change.
  • Industrial and agricultural sites that have considerably low energy consumption.
  • Buildings that are planned for demolition.

Do I Need To Display The Certificate?

You may be required by law to have your commercial Energy Performance Certificate on display. Businesses that have the following features should have their EPCs fixed to their building:

  • A total floor area exceeding 500 square metres.
  • Used frequently by the public.
  • An EPC has been produced for the property’s construction, rental or sale.

If your business has any of the above features, you should ensure that your EPC is displayed as failing to do so could lead to a penalty charge.

Can Improving My Business EPC Reduce Energy Bills?

When you undertake measures to improve your commercial property’s EPC rating, you will likely see a significant decline in your energy bills. By making your property and business more energy-efficient, you can reduce your energy consumption and lower the amount you spend on your business energy.

As well as lower business overheads, your company could benefit from an improved reputation as energy-efficiency is a key focus for consumers and businesses across the world. You can also gain peace of mind in knowing that you’re doing your bit for the environment by reducing your greenhouse gas emissions.

How Can I Improve My Business EPC?

There are plenty of ways in which you could increase the level of energy efficiency within your business and improve your commercial EPC. The following are examples of useful measures which could help to improve your business EPC rating.

  • Energy-efficient lighting
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Insulation
  • Smart Controls
  • Upgrading appliances

For more information on how you can improve your business EPC, visit our guide on How To Improve Your  ’ EPC Rating.

If you’re looking to reduce your business energy bills, switching suppliers and getting a cheaper deal is an effective solution. Try our free online comparison tool today to find the best energy tariff for your business. Alternatively, take a look at our energy guides for further advice on energy saving.