We have already taken a look at the key ways to improve your domestic EPC. Commercial EPCs still have quite a few of the same components, but there is a larger variety of properties out there, and many more ways to improve your rating. Here are some of our top tips:

  1. Ensure your lighting is energy efficient. Lighting makes a much bigger difference to a commercial rating compared to a domestic certificate and making sure you optimise your lighting is key. For larger properties, you may want to get a full lighting design carried out, as this will improve the rating further.
  2. Use efficient heating. The heating system is important for office spaces and retail units. Ensure that you have an efficient AC unit if it is being used as the primary heating system. If you have no heating or just electric heaters, consider getting a more efficient heating system
  3. Install a hot water heater. It may be a quirk of the system, but a property with no hot water heating is going to perform poorly compared to one with a simple electric point of use water heater. If you have a small workshop or shop with no hot water, get a small electric single point of use heater to boost your rating.
  4. Insulate your walls. When carrying out a refit or refurbishment, you should look at adding internal insulation for solid brick or metal clad properties. If you have a cavity wall property, chances are that there is no insulation in the walls, as there have never been any grants or subsidies for this sort of work in the commercial setting. This is an easy win for your energy rating.
  5. Insulate your roof. In commercial property, particularly warehouses and industrial buildings, the roof can be particularly poorly insulated. If possible, look at adding some basic insulation to help improve performance.
  6. Lighting Controls. A nice relatively cheap and easy improvement that can be installed when upgrading your lighting is to add some occupancy sensing for your lighting to reduce the amount of wasted energy lighting unused space. There are lots of lighting control options out there and variations on a theme, but it is a good way to cut your lighting costs and give the EPC rating a little boost.
  7. Heating controls. Heating controls are usually poor to non-existent in commercial properties. Install some thermostatic controls, particularly ones that can be zoned.
  8. Get some renewables for your business. Renewable energy can be great for businesses. Because energy is used more consistently and at known times, you can be much more precise about the return on investment and payback period. Solar for example, is great for an office, because the peak hours of use coincide with the peak hours of electricity generation. CHP and biomass can also make great investments with generous Renewable Heat Incentive payments
  9. Provide documentation. This is absolutely key to get the best rating. Ensure that any improvement works have appropriate documentation in order for the assessor to include them in the EPC. If the improvement can’t be seen, or the model number not readily available, then it cannot be included in the certificate. Try to ensure things like u-values, model numbers, air tightness, extraction rates etc are available wherever possible.
  10. Liaise with your assessor to create a predictive EPC prior to carrying out your refurbishment work. By getting your assessor out to look at various improvement options, you can maximise the final rating at the end of the works. Plus you can work out the most cost effective improvement options.