Author Archives: James Alcock

Getting an EPC for a pub

Do you need an EPC for a pub?

If you are planning to sell your pub or indeed let it out, you will require a commercial EPC on the premises. We recommend organising the EPC on the pub prior to marketing the building since it can be an unnecessary hold up further down the line.

If you need an EPC for a pub in the London area, call us at London EPC on 0208 8192166. Over the last 5 years, we have carried out hundreds of commercial EPC assessments on pubs. Our team of qualified energy assessors can fulfil an EPC for a pub normally within 48 hours of first contact.

As part of our service we also include a recommendation report on your Pub, these reports can assist both the owner and prospective purchaser/tenant to understand the recommendations within the governments recommendations report.

Obviously the by their very nature, the layout of pubs in London is very diverse, however our assessors tend to be able to complete the commercial EPC on the pub within 2 hours and then get the report back to you next day.

We also now that pubs tend to busy places – our assessors will carry out the EPC survey on the pub with the minimum of fuss, trying to minimise disruption for staff.

How much does a commercial EPC on a pub cost?

It is very difficult to pin down a price, just because each pub is different from the next. Pubs are often pretty old, and sometimes unusually-shaped, as they’ve been changed and re purposed over the years. These non-standard layouts mean there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ estimate for the cost of surveying a pub, and it can be tricky to quote for.

For the reasons above, getting a commercial EPC on a pub can be pricey – but we will make sure to give you the fairest price possible. If you have rooms above the pub, this will add to the cost. The reason is that EPCs must be ‘zoned’, so each room and each en suite will be a separate zone in the software. Surveying, and then inputting all this information into the report software, is a time-consuming process, so the more rooms you have, the more expensive the EPC will be.

So if you need a quote for a pub EPC, make sure to send us as much info as possible! Any floor plans, dimensions or photos will help us to give you an accurate quote.

Our prices for commercial EPC surveys start at £99 + VAT, but for a mid size pub the price will be more likely £180 – 250 + VAT. For a bigger pub the price of the EPC might be a little higher than this.

Our assessor will provide a quote for the EPC prior to the visit and this price will not change regardless of what we encounter when we arrive at the premises, but sometimes these prices are slightly highballed by ourselves to ensure our costs are covered.

To get a more accurate price for both you and us here at London EPC, you can supply us with floor plans prior to us quoting for the commercial EPC survey – then the price will defiantly be more accurate.

So there you have it, if you would like London EPC to carry out a commercial EPC on your pub, please call us. Our assessors are all Government qualified and polite and efficient. We can turn around an EPC for a pub normally within 48 hours from first contact.

Getting a commercial EPC for a church

Under official guidelines, a church, (as a place of worship) does not require a EPC. However from time to time, we still get requests to carry out a commercial EPC on a church. The reason for this tends to be solar PV and claiming the Feed-in Tariff.

Typically, churches are old buildings and as such are very inefficient, but since they aren’t used all the time it is rare for them to have traditional central heating systems. Instead they often have maintenance-free electric heating (such as infrared heating). This can be turned on and off very easily and will quickly heat the space inside the church, ensuring the visitors are kept nice and warm.

Solar PV on a church requires commercial EPC to claim FIT

Electric heating, while convenient on paper, is more expensive to run than gas central heating, so often the energy bills in churches are very high. This is why some churches have solar panels installed on their roof – these provide a large amount of free electricity to help meet some of the demand of heating the interior space. In addition, under the government’s Feed-in Tariff scheme, the owners of the system are paid for the electricity produced, providing a small secondary income stream for the church.

In order to claim the Feed-in Tariff, the church requires a commercial EPC. This is why, despite it not being legally required, many churches across London still get in touch with us to get a commercial EPC carried out.

Price of commercial EPC for a church

Price-wise, a commercial EPC for an average sized church is £350 + VAT, but we can always provide a more accurate quote provided we have the address of the property. If you need a commercial EPC for a church in London, get in touch today!

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    Getting an estate agent to organise an EPC is expensive!

    Selling or renting a house is not a cheap process when you take in to account the legal fees and estate agency fees. It is easy though to let these professionals to get on with it, as it removes a great deal of the headache from the process.

    One of the things often included as part of the estate agent’s service is for them to organise an EPC to be carried out on your property – the EPC (energy performance certificate) is just one of the documents required by law for you to be able to sell or rent your property.

    Estate agents charge commission to carry out EPC

    Now while it is very convenient for your estate agent to organise the EPC for your property, they will unfortunately normally charge commission, and a lot of it – so this can take the price for an EPC up from £40-50 to £150 – £200.

    An EPC can be carried out by any registered energy assessor – you can find one from the list by clicking below. You simply put in your postcode and it will give you a list of local (and cheaper) energy assessors.

    >>> Find a registered energy assessor <<<

    If you are looking to get an epc carried out in the London area, then it is worth speaking to us. We have a team covering the whole of the UK, and the prices for a domestic EPC are set based on the number of bedrooms of the property. We are also able to go and pick up keys from the estate agent if required – this is all part of the service we offer.

    Avoid estate agents high EPC costs – use a local energy assessor!

    So, yes, your estate agent can sort you out with an EPC, but going direct to an assessor (or EPC company like ours!) is much much better value. It is also likely that the survey will be carried out sooner than if organised by a third party. So there you have it, one extra phone call and you save yourself potentially over £100 – getting an estate agent to organise an EPC might be convenient, but you definitely pay for the privilege, especially when finding a local assessor is so easy!

    If you require an EPC and are based in the London area, call us on 0208 8192166.

    Providing a Quote for a Non-Domestic or Commercial EPC

    When it comes to domestic EPC’s it is really easy to provide a price to our customers, the cost just depends on the size of the house and your location.

    To provide a price for a commercial property it is a lot more tricky. This is because there are so many different shapes and sizes of commercial properties, from warehouses to offices, from shops to restaurants. There are a huge number of building types to cover in a commercial EPC, so there is no one size fits all price.

    Many companies out there will quote you based on square meterage only – this can lead to a big overcharging because a huge warehouse with only 1 room is going to take a lot less time to survey and enter into the software than an office area with lots of different rooms, even though the office may be a quarter of the size. We make sure this never happens.

    What can you provide to help us quote you?

    When you get in touch with us by email or phone, there are several things that you can have handy that will help us provide an accurate and competitive quote for the property. If you don’t have this information to hand, we highly recommend that you take the time to find it before approaching a company like us for a quote. Our top requirements are:

    • Type of property – Please let us know what the building is being used for, and if there are multiple uses.
    • Size of property – Ideally you will provide some floor plans, but if not, we need to know how many square meters the property covers, a rough idea of the layout – i.e. how many rooms are there over how many floors?
    • HVAC – We don’t need all the details just to price the job, but if you can give us an idea of the heating and cooling systems present that would be helpful (Eg. Gas boiler in a separate boiler room, Air conditioning units on the roof with ducts throughout building)

    If you provide all this information to us up front, we will be able to provide a quote to you immediately and book you in for a site visit within 48 hours. So don’t delay! Give us a call and we can help price your EPC in just a few minutes.

    Do you need a new EPC for your home?

    Do I need a new EPC?

    An EPC is a legal requirement in the UK when you rent out or sell your property.

    What many people don’t know is that an EPC is valid for 10 years – so if your property has one, it should still be valid for any potential resale or rental.

    EPC reports were only introduced in 2007, so it will be 2017 before they begin to expire on properties. Unfortunately in our experience people assume they will need a new one every time they sell their home or rent it out to new tenants thereby wasting them money which could be better spent elsewhere.

    So how then do you know if there is an existing EPC on your property?

    All EPC records are held on a central register (by a company called Landmark) and these are accessible by anyone provided you have the property address or postcode.

    Follow this brief guide below to see if there is an existing EPC for your property.

    Step 1 – go to the EPC register

    Step 2 – From the options displayed, select Domestic EPC Registers.

    Step 3 – In the left hand menu, click on ‘Retrieve Report Using Property Address’

    Step 4 – Ideally enter the postcode and hit search report, but if you don’t have that you will need to hit the ‘I don’t have a postcode’ button and follow the further instruction.

    Step 5 – The screen that loads will then show all the properties with your postcode that have a valid EPC, simply click on the relevant house number to download the EPC as a PDF.

    Step 6 – If the property isn’t on the list (and you have confirmed you have put in the right postcode), then you are going to need to get a new EPC.

    You might need an EPC for another purpose

    Strictly speaking, although the EPC is valid for 10 years, if the property undergoes major reconstruction works in that time then it should have a new EPC. There is however no specific guidance on what constitutes major building works – so it is safe to say that most people don’t bother.

    The other reason you might need a new EPC is if you want to apply for the GDHIF scheme. This is a home improvement scheme allowing home owners to claim up to £5,600 in non-means tested grants to improve the energy efficiency of their home.

    If you do need a new EPC we will be happy to help – simply fill in the form on the right and we will get it sorted for you!

    RHI calculation is based off the Heat Demand EPC

    Using the EPC to calculate the domestic RHI

    At EPC London, we carry out hundreds of EPC assessments every week across London and the surrounding counties. Now despite requiring a Green Deal Report to actually apply for the Renewable heat incentive, the actual RHI payment is based on the heat requirement that comes from the EPC – so in the article below we are going to explain how you (armed with your EPC) can calculate your RHI payment and see if making the investment in renewable heating systems may be worth doing.

    How to calculate the RHI payment from your EPC

    At the bottom of page 4 of the EPC is a small table that provides your home’s heat demand; we have included an example from an EPC we have carried out recently.

    RHI calculation is based off the Heat Demand EPC

    In the second column you will see two numbers under the title Existing dwelling – the sum of these two numbers shows the total heat demand of the property in terms of space heating (e.g. radiators) and water heating (e.g. baths and showers).

    The total heat demand from this EPC is 32,345 kWh of heat.

    Now in terms of calculating the RHI payments, the methodology varies depending on the technology in question. We will start with biomass boilers

    Calculating the RHI for Biomass boilers

    This is probably the simplest RHI calculation, because all of the heat you produce from a biomass boiler is deemed as renewable, this is because the fuel that powers the biomass boiler is produced is renewable (compare this with a heat pump where the unit requires electricity from the grid to run).

    The RHI payment for Biomass boilers is currently 12.2p per kWh per year (although DECC have the right to adjust the RHI rate every 3 months).

    Therefore for this property the annual return for installing a biomass boiler would be:

    32,345 x £0.122 = £3,946 per year

    Calculating the RHI for Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps

    Calculating the RHI for heat pumps is slightly more complicated, although the basis behind the calculation is the same for both air source and ground source heat pumps.

    The reason for the complexity is the fact that the heat pump units run on electricity from the grid, so the Government will only pay the household for the units of ‘renewable heat’ produced – this is referred to as the Eligible Heat Demand.

    The Eligible Heat Demand is calculated as the total annual energy demand from the EPC x (1 – 1 / SPF).

    The SPF in this calculation is the seasonal performance factor and tells you how efficient the unit is. For example an electric radiator has an SPF of 1 – which means that one unit of electricity is turned into one unit of useful heat.

    The SPF of a heat pump can vary from 2.5 to 5.5 (for some ground source heat pumps). The bigger the SPF the better – because this means that more renewable heat is being produced from each unit of electricity required to operate the heat pump.

    So for example – imagine we were installing a ground source heat pump in the property above where the SPF is 4.5 then the calculation would be:

    32,345 x (1 – 1 / 4.5) = 25,157 kWh of eligible heat under the RHI scheme

    This number is then simply multiplied by the RHI for Ground source heat pumps which is currently 18.8p / kWh, so this would give an annual return of £4,730 per year guaranteed for 7 years.

    Compare this for an air source heat pump where the SPF might be just 3

    32,345 x (1 – 1 / 3) = 21,563 kWh of eligible heat under the RHI scheme

    This number is then multiplied by the RHI for Air source heat pumps (7.3 p / kWh) to give an annual return of £1,574.

    A couple of important points to mention about the RHI

    You may be wondering why we have left out solar thermal from the info above, well the RHI for solar thermal is calculated only off the back of the MCS calculations provided by the installer. The solar thermal calculation does not take into account the EPC figure and the reason for this is pretty much down to the fact that solar thermal is not going to provide all your heat demand for the house, it is there simply as a supplementary heat demand.

    In addition the SPF should be calculated by the MCS installer for all heat pump calculations. The higher the SPF calculation the better in terms of the amount paid through the RHI.

    Finally the RHI payment has been designed to pretty much cover the install costs of the measures. i.e. over the 7 years, a GSHP will produce a return of roughly £20-30k, an ASHP just £7-10k.

    Domestic EPC in London

    Domestic EPCs are energy surveys that determine the efficiency of a property. The survey provides a numerical rating between 0 and 100, where 100 is the most efficient and 0 the least. The numerical ratings also fall into bands A-G, for example a D rated property has a numerical rating of between 55 and 68.

    The UK has some of the most diverse properties seen around the world, creating a huge range of EPC ratings. For example, pre-1900 rural detached houses tend to have a drastically lower rating than 90’s mid terrace properties. The many Georgian and Victorian properties that make up a huge proportion of the housing stock in London are not very efficient at all.

    The introduction of building regulations in the late 60’s led to a sharp increase in energy efficiency of properties and as stricter regulations continue to be released even now (the last building regulations update was in 2013), efficiency continues to improve.

    At London EPC, it is this massive diversity in building stock is what makes our job so interesting, we never quite know what to expect when we go from property to property!

    A domestic EPC will look at the type and amount of external wall, floor, ceiling, as well as the heating systems, heating controls and glazing. One thing the EPC doesn’t do is consider the energy usage of the current occupier and how they use the property. All the energy savings that you find in the lodged EPC report are based on ‘typical’ occupancy, so if the current occupiers are high or low energy users the savings produced by installing particular energy saving measures are going to vary considerably.

    Why were domestic EPCs introduced?

    Domestic EPCs were introduced in August 2007 as part of the Home Information Pack, for properties with four or more bedrooms, however this was soon extended to smaller properties. When the Home Information Pack was removed in 2010, the Energy Performance Certificate remained in place, and has been a requirement for certain scenarios ever since. The EPC displays both the energy performance of the property as well as the carbon emissions rating.

    The EPC is designed to give the potential buyer, tenant or even occupier more information on the efficiency of the property. Along with the score, the EPC also provides a few energy saving recommendations, which the owner can then chose to follow and therefore improve the EPC rating. A lower rating should mean that the property would be more expensive to run. However, there are exceptions to the rule, but it is still a useful guideline.

    When would I need an EPC for my home?

    Across the UK, if you are looking to sell or rent the domestic property, or if it has just been constructed then you would require an EPC to be undertaken as a legal requirement. The ‘economic agent’ then has the most up-to-date information on the property and can base his plans accordingly.

    EPCs are valid for 10 years; however if for whatever reason a new one is lodged on the same property, it will overwrite the existing EPC held on the central register (known as EPCregister). We recommend obtaining a new EPC if the property ever goes through large-scale changes, such as extensions or adding lots of insulation. Even something as simple as replacing your lighting with LED lights can boost the EPC rating of the property if you are looking for quick wins!

    EPC and the Renewable Heat Incentive

    One area where an EPC is crucial is for calculating the renewable heat incentive or RHI as it is more commonly known. The amount paid via the RHI is based on figures that come directly from the bottom of the EPC – so for renewable heat generating systems – such as Air Source Heat Pumps or Biomass boilers, the EPC is absolutely critical – you can learn more about the Renewable heat incentive by clicking here.

    Can I get away without having an EPC?

    So if you have lived in the same property since before the EPC was a requirement, and have not sold or rented it since, then naturally your property may not have one.

    Even if you have moved into a property since the Home Information Pack came into force in 2007, there might be circumstances where the property doesn’t need an EPC.

    A domestic EPC is not required in the following circumstances.

    • A mixed-use property that is part of a business (e.g. farm, shop or petrol station)
    • Properties that have been deemed unsafe and pose a health and safety risk.
    • Properties to be demolished provided all documentation exists.
    • Listed buildings
    • Detached buildings with a footprint under 50m2
    • Residential buildings being used fewer than 4 months per year

    How is the EPC produced?

    A qualified domestic energy assessor will come to your property and carry out an EPC. The surveyor examines all external walls, levels of insulation, heating systems and heating controls, as well as other aspect of the property. However, while undertaking the assessment the assessor must not, and cannot, alter the property. For example, he cannot take up boarding to check loft insulation, take apart the boiler panel to see the model number or indeed lodge anything that he cannot see even if the customer tells him.

    The only case in which something can be taken into account yet cannot be seen, is where documentation is provided as evidence. Therefore, when you book an assessment ensure that you have proof of any improvements that have been made, such as floor insulation, otherwise you might be disappointed by your EPC rating when you get it back from the assessor.

    Domestic EPC authenticity

    When a Domestic EPC is correctly lodged by a certified assessor, it will produce a unique number known as an RNN number, which is located on the top right hand side of the EPC certificate.

    The certificate can be searched for independently by any prospective buyer or occupier on the domestic registry website ( as long as they have this RRN number.

    If assessors send across an EPC without this information then the certificate is not lodged and you will be liable if the matter is investigated by building control.

    What is the minimum EPC rating to rent a property out?

    Do I need a minimum EPC rating to rent my property out?

    An EPC has a rating system from A to G, with A being most efficient and G being the least. If you are a domestic or commercial property owner and you are looking to rent your property out, you will need to get an EPC certificate. At the moment, that certificate is sometimes considered somewhat of a formality, but not for much longer. From April 2018, you will need to have a minimum rating – most likely an E rating.

    What does this mean for landlords?

    If your property does not get an E rating or above, it means that you will have to upgrade your property, or face financial penalties. Sure, it is a little way off as yet, but now is a great time to get your property energy efficient. There are various schemes out there to help pay for these improvements, so not only are there no excuses, it just makes sense to get them installed.

    What constitutes an ‘E’ EPC rating?

    Bearing in mind that we aren’t 100% sure on the minimum rating that will be required, the most likely rating of ‘E’ is actually fairly easy to achieve. For the majority of properties, you should already be at an E rating, as the UK average is now a ‘D’.

    If you are below an ‘E’ currently, the easy wins to look out for are loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. If either of these is a recommendation on your EPC, you should speak to us about getting them installed. Chances are you can get them done for free, or relatively inexpensively. Easy wins like draught proofing and hot water tank insulation will also help bump up the EPC rating.

    If these are not enough, or are not possible, the heating system is the next place to look. If you have a gas supply, a modern gas boiler should get your rating up. If you don’t have gas, more modern storage heaters could be the answer.

    I don’t know how to get my ‘E’ Rating

    If you are struggling to find the right option for your property, do not hesitate to give us a call. In our experience, virtually all properties can get up to an ‘E’ rating without having to spend a fortune. It is worth doing, and it will make your property a more attractive proposition for tenants.

    Is it worth implementing the EPC recommendations?

    EPC Recommendations – Are they worth implementing?

    For many people getting an EPC, they are doing so because they are moving home, or looking to rent a property out, and the EPC is a legal requirement in doing so. You could however, use the EPC as an opportunity to see where gains could be made in the efficiency of the property.

    Why make the improvements from the EPC?

    The obvious reason for making the improvements recommended on the EPC is to benefit from lower energy bills and protect yourself against future energy price increases.

    Recommendations on the EPC are going to be eligible for Green Deal finance, so there is help out there to let you make the improvements. Some of the recommendations, like cavity wall and loft insulation, can be done for free under schemes like ECO, so you might as well take advantage while you can.

    The savings that are stated are usually fairly accurate – so if you are seeing £200 a year savings on a new boiler, it’s going to be worth installing a new one! Take a look at some of the recommendations and their relative costs. If the payback is good, it is worth looking at quotes and possible avenues of funding.

    Does the assessor pick the recommendations on the EPC?

    No. The recommendations listed on the report are automatically generated by the software, depending on the house type and the various information entered by the assessor. For instance, if you have an old model of boiler, the software will recommend an upgrade, but if your boiler model is new, it won’t recommend them.

    What should I do to get these measures installed?

    It’s simple. Give us a call and we will talk you through the best ways to get your property efficient. We might recommend a Green Deal Assessment – where our assessor will talk you through all your options at your property and produce a Green Deal Report, which you will need to claim various funding. This is much more than an EPC, and as a result will require an additional charge. You can find out more about the Green Deal here.

    Changes to the EPC Process – Update of RdSAP 9.92

    Changes to RdSAP for Dec. 2014

    On the 8th December 2014, the process for creating an EPC is changing. There are now some extra measurements and photos that will be necessary to complete the energy survey, and we are going to run through the key changes here and give you an idea of the implications.

    Party walls

    The type and length of any partition walls will now need to be measured. In the past, these were ignored because they weren’t considered heat loss, but that isn’t entirely true. Some partition walls are solid, and some have cavities. If the cavity extends up into the loft, then heat can escape like a chimney, funnelling the heat up and out the property.

    Part of the reason this is now being included in the assessment is to allow filling of these heat loss party walls. It will mean the assessor needs access to the party wall in the loft to check the wall type.


    For older windows in PVC, the gap between the two panes of double glazing must be estimated. Obviously it is difficult to tell this precisely, but the assessor will need to tick a category of 6, 12 or 16mm. This is not required for any windows installed post 2002, or single, triple or secondary glazed windows.

    The point of this is to allow the assessor to recommend replacement glazing where applicable in the occupancy assessment, where before old double glazing could not be recommended for replacement.

    Pumps and heating controls

    Another minor change is the inclusion of pumps in your heating system. It will allow the recommendation of a replacement pumps where appropriate. The other change to heating systems is that time and temperature zone controls that communicate with TRVs are now included, so if you have an intelligent heating system it may mean your rating will improve. Next generation storage heaters can also now be included, along with weather compensators.

    Park Homes

    There are extensive changes to the way park homes must be lodged. We will be writing a separate blog detailing more about EPC’s with Park Homes.

    What do these changes to the EPC process mean for the customer?

    So these changes all impact the assessor and it will take longer for the surveys to take place, but what is the impact for the customer (aside from having the EPC assessor in the home for a little longer!) – well to be honest, it should mean a more accurate survey and therefore a more accurate representation of the energy efficiency of the property. We often find that the Government software makes big assumptions, but changes like those mentioned above do improve the accuracy of the reports.

    At London-EPC we have put all our assessors through detailed training to ensure they are fully up to speed with the new changes so you can be sure that your assessor is providing you with the best possible service.