Getting an EPC on your commercial property is really easy. You book your assessment, a surveyor comes out to visit and takes some photos and measurements, and then a few days later your report arrives in your inbox. Once you’ve got your EPC however, what can you infer from it and how do you know what to do next?
Information on the EPC Certificate
The certificate itself is a really simple document, just a few blocks of text and a rating. A domestic EPC certificate has quite a bit more detail, with some recommendations and information about the property. Due to the huge variation in the types of commercial properties, a commercial EPC does not include this. There are just two pages, with the second page taken up by information on the assessor and their credentials. This means there isn’t a great deal you can glean from the EPC itself other than the rating you have achieved.
The Recommendations Report
Along with the EPC, you can download another document called the Recommendations Report. This is a separate document, unique to commercial EPCs. It has quite a lot of information on it regarding various potential improvements to the property, but unfortunately it is usually very generic and doesn’t have much detail on your property itself. Most assessors will not bother editing this document and will just let it auto generate the recommendations, making it even more generic. The reason for this is that it is a unaudited part of the service – i.e. it is not a requirement of the EPC procedure for the assessor. It is just there at the end of the process should you want it.
Because the EPC market has very much been a race to the bottom, with prices incredibly competitive, there is often little time nor really any reason to focus on this part of the report. Most clients simply want the EPC done as cheaply as possible and do not look at the recommendations report. This is all going to change very soon, as new government legislation comes in from April 2018 meaning that all rental properties, both domestic and commercial, will need to achieve an Erating to be able to rent it out. This is only for new leases, but from 2020 this will apply to sitting tenants as well. So just getting an EPC for the lowest price might not be the smartest move. You will need them to be accurate and to follow up with the assessor to work out recommended improvements.
Importance of the EPC Rating
Many properties in the UK already have an E rating, but if your property does not, you may want to ask the assessor to produce a report explaining what the reasons are for a low score and the best ways to improve the rating. Here at London EPC we offer several tailored services as additional options to our clients. You can find out more about these services here.
If you are looking for a detailed recommendations report, you should always bring this up with us prior to booking the survey. There will be an additional fee for these services, as they will add considerably more time to the job. They can prove incredibly useful, however. There is no point getting very expensive works carried out if they aren’t going to get your rating up to the required level. In some cases there will be some really cheap and easy ways to increase your rating. In some cases it may even be a case of providing more evidence to the assessor.
The EPC is put together using only a visual inspection on the day of the visit. If you have any more documentary evidence of insulation installed, model numbers of various HVAC systems or any other useful information which may affect the rating, speak to your assessor before the report is lodged to see if it may be able to help improve your report. If this information is not available, defaults will be used, which usually reduce the potential rating.
If in doubt, as always, give us a call and we will be happy to help explain what would be best for your property.