Have your previous EPCs been calculated accurately?
Professional treatment of energy surveys is likely to become more important over the coming years as government considers how best to use the EPC database, combined with incentives or tax, to improve the efficiency of commercial buildings.
Will it matter?
As well as for sales and rental, accurate EPCs are relied upon to qualify for feed in tariff payments and also to receive financing under the Green Deal. The picture changes but the direction is clear – over the 10 year life of the EPC, measures will be introduced to encourage efficiency and penalise poorly rated properties.
Take the case of a wrongly calculated EPC that rates a property E, F or G – since April 2012 this would exclude payments from the feed in tariff (potentially tens of thousands of pounds) and after 2016, poorly calculated EPCs could cause a Landlord unnecessary loss when it becomes an offence to re-let a property with an F or G rating under the Energy Act 2011.
There’s no doubt that surveyors recommending or sourcing energy assessors will be considering quality factors on behalf of the client who could be exposed to financial losses further down the line.
What makes for an accurate assessment?
Energy assessors who rush through assessments tend to assume the least efficient options. This was always intended as an option only to be used if it wasn’t possible to gather other information, but became common place as fees and standards slid. Recent changes to minimum standards were intended to outlaw this practice but its clear that the integrity of the individual assessor is key.
Most customers would be surprised by the quantity data that should be collected within the survey. To avoid using the least efficient options, the desk based part of the assessment needs to calculate areas such as:
- Ventilation rates l/sec/m2,
- Specific fans powers w/l/sec
- Hot water storage losses MJ/Month
- Effective heat generating seasonal efficiencies
- Make an assessment of the air permeability rate
- Glazing frame & transmission factors and aspect ratios
Will the EPC affect property value?
Early adopters of the EPC were the Netherlands and Research by the Royal institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has suggested that EPCs have led to a premium of 2.8% being paid for properties that have better ratings (A, B or C).
In the UK, the government has been reported to be considering an increase in stamp duty for homes with poor ratings.
EPCs are stored on the government’s database for 10 years and it’s difficult to imagine that poorly calculated or inaccurate commercial EPCs would not have an effect, should at a later date , tax be linked to the EPC.
What you’ll get from us:
Energy assessment is a fairly fast moving profession, whether it’s New build calculations for Part L of Building Regulations, TM44 Air Conditioning Reports or EPCs, we stay ahead and keep our customers up to date.
We collect accurate information and don’t rush through the assessment by using defaults values unless CLG conventions say that we should. Regular client’s will know that we’ve taken this seriously from the start and comply with the myriad of rules and conventions that producing commercial EPCs require.
Whether you need an EPC for an individual building or manage a portfolio, Get in touch and we’ll be able to help you.