Warehouses, like all other buildings being let and sold in the UK, generally require an EPC certificate. An EPC is an energy performance certificate, and it’s essentially a document that reflects how much energy it requires to power your building.
What is on an EPC?
An energy performance certificate is a document designed to reflect the energy efficiency of a property. It requires an assessor to do a site-visit to the warehouse to have a look around and make some basic notes. Don’t worry, they won’t need to poke around or do anything invasive, but they will need full access to the property in order to collect the information required.
EPCs come in two basic varieties: domestic and non-domestic. For a warehouse EPC, you’d obviously be looking at a non-domestic certificate. Non-domestic (sometimes called commercial EPCs) require a different kind of assessor, as the process is more complex.
Does my warehouse require an EPC?
Unlike most buildings, warehouses can sometimes be exempt from needing an EPC. This can be particularly useful for reasons to do with MEES (minimum energy efficiency standards), which we’ll come on to a little later.
The regulations stipulate that an EPC is not required for “Industrial sites, workshop or non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use much energy”. That may sound a little vague (that happens a lot with property legislation), but it essentially amounts to this: if your warehouse has no heating system and no integrated office space, then you don’t need an EPC.
Will the EPC rating affect the value of my warehouse?
Generally speaking, not much. While domestic properties and office blocks tend to follow a pattern of increasing in value as the EPCs improve, warehouses, agricultural buildings, and industrial units don’t seem to be as affected. This is likely down to the fact that running costs for these properties tend to be fairly low, and things like lighting and heating bills are often far surpassed by other commercial expenses. That’s not to say that there’s no correlation – a warehouse which is cheap to run will always be more attractive than an expensive building – but most warehouses generally have low EPCs at the best of times. It’s the nature of the property type.
What are MEES and how do I ensure that my warehouse passes?
MEES stands for minimum energy efficiency standards, and it’s a set of rules brought in by the government in 2018 to ensure that buildings are only let out if they pass a certain minimum energy efficiency requirement. In order to let your warehouse, the MEES regulations stipulate that it must have an EPC of an E or above.
For a warehouse trying to pass MEES standards, the first step is to check that your warehouse definitely needs an EPC (see above for guidelines). If it doesn’t then you don’t need to clear the MEES requirements and can let your property out, regardless of condition.
If you have a warehouse that has fallen short of the MEES guidelines, we always recommend looking first at your lighting. While in Domestic EPCs the lighting only has a minor impact, with warehouses and other commercial buildings it can make an enormous difference. Swapping from old style bulbs to LEDs is the single most cost effective way to improve your warehouse EPC.
If you’ve done that and are still struggling to hit the minimum requirements, you may want to consider updating your draught proofing, heating system, or insulation. If you’re not sure how to hit your MEES target, we’re here to help. We don’t charge anything extra for MEES advice on any of our EPCs ever, our expertise is available to everyone we carry out EPCs for, whatever your question.
If you’d like to book an EPC for your warehouse with London-EPC, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.