How much does a Commercial EPC Certificate cost?
Many landlords ask how much does an epc cost ? What is actually required for assessing the energy performance of a commercial building and why are commercial epc prices/costs higher than for a domestic property (house / bungalow / apartment / flat)?
Last Updated 10th May 2017
To help answer your question, we first of all need to explain the following: –
What contributes to the energy performance of a building?
A Commercial performance energy rating of a building is a complex calculation, which is based on a combination of factors. The key factors are:
• Carrying out a detailed site survey, measuring & quantifying the external construction fabric details of the building and calculating the thermal efficiency of the materials used for example the roof, floors, walls and glazing. (As Chartered Quantity Surveyors, this something that we do very well)
• Identifying & measuring the Gross Internal Floor Area (GIFA) & scheduling the relevant activities (zones) floor areas of the building that are used for different purposes e.g. cellurisied offices, open plan office, meeting rooms, communal areas etc. Each zone have completely different energy loads / requirements.
• Carrying out a detailed survey & investigating the energy efficiency of the central heating plant, air conditioning systems (cooling), ventilation (supply & extract), hot water generation & lighting systems used within each of the activities (zones) throughout the whole property.
The energy performance of a Commercial property is shown as a co2 based index. The co2 rating a building receives depends on the age on the building, the type of activities taking place within the building, the construction of the external fabric of building, the energy fuels used within the building such as electricity-gas- oil including any renewable technologies, the energy efficiency of the space heating (central heating), water heating systems, air conditioning, ventilation and the efficiency of the lighting ballasts and lamps, less any energy generated from energy generation technology installed in the building (such as solar water heating, PV). The lower the number the lower the typical co2 emissions (based on a scale of zero to 150 +). The rating is adjusted for the gross internal floor area of the building so it is independent of size for a given type of building.
Collecting the information required for an EPC
Once the energy assessor has been commissioned to produce an EPC, there are three
main steps to performing the assessment. These are:
• gathering the relevant information about the building, this is carried out by visiting the property and carrying out a site inspection. (This is a compulsory requirement)
• analysing the information and identifying different zones of the building
• Returning back to the office and entering the information gathered from the site survey into an approved Commercial software programme. The data entry and modeling of a commercial building general takes double or three times the amount of time spent on site carrying out the site survey i.e. Half a day on site surveying can take additional day to complete the data entry into the software program and modeling the building in a 3D Government approved software simulation programme.
The energy assessor will need to understand the internal layout of the building and for what purposes / activities are taking place within each zone or for new build what they are designed to be used for.
The information that will be required to produce an EPC includes:
• analysing the information and identifying different zones of the building and their dimensions (either as verified from plans or as measured). This information may be readily provided from building plans
• the activities conducted within the zones, e.g. retail space, office space, kitchens, storage etc as each zone have completely different energy loads / requirements.
• the heating and ventilation services for each zone, including type of system, metering, controls, fuels used, etc.
• the lighting systems such as the ballasts, lamps and controls used for each zone
• the construction of the fabric of the building and thermal efficiency of the materials used: roof, floors, walls and glazing. If there are no plans for a building, the energy assessor will need to survey the building and gather the appropriate information. If you have up to date information and plans for your building this process will be less time consuming. The Commercial energy assessor is responsible for ensuring the information used in the energy calculations is accurate and, even where detailed plans are available for existing buildings must validate this information by carrying out a site inspection.
How long does it take to produce a Commercial EPC?
The graph (01) below illustrates the typical assessment times for surveying and producing a Commercial Energy Performance Certificate: –
Graph 01 – figures abstracted from Communities of Local Government (CLG) Impact Assessment for Commercial properties.
Domestic –v- Commercial Property energy performance assessment costs
Due to the detailed level of information required for the data entry into the accredited Commercial energy performance assessment software programme. The site survey can take anything from a half a day to several days or even weeks on site surveying. The time spent back at the office entering and modeling all the data obtained from the site survey can be 2-3 times it took on site to do the site survey.
Domestic energy performance certificates / assessments only take between 30 minutes to 60 minutes for carrying out the site survey. Again, around double the time spent data entering the information into the software programme back at the office.
Lodgement fees vary between the accreditation schemes. Commercial energy performance certificate lodgement fees cost five to tens times more than domestic properties.
How long does an assessment take & how much does it cost?
The cost of preparation of a Commercial EPC is related to the type of building, the complexity of the building and the quality of information available. A relatively modern building with up to date layout drawings (record plans) will be less costly to assess than an older building of similar layout for which no record drawings exist. The size of the building is also important but a large warehouse is not directly comparable to an office or retail premises of similar size. Due to the wide variation in size and complexity of commercial buildings, the survey and data entry, modeling times and calculation times can vary.
The process of producing the information necessary to undertake the calculation is complex and time consuming and the cost of producing an EPC for the simplest of buildings with access being provided to all the areas of the property, would be in the region of several hundred pounds.
Warning when appointing a Commercial Energy Assessor…
- Do not accept the lowest cost.
- Make sure you appoint the correct accredited level of Commercial Energy assessor for the complexity of your building, as there are three accreditation levels for Commercial energy assessors. If you instruct the incorrect energy assessor your Commercial Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) could be invalid.
- Ensure you obtain a completely independent bespoke service to meet your specific requirements.
- If your Commercial EPC is going to be used to inform investment decisions, ensure they are prepared by an appropriately qualified energy assessor, who is accredited by Building Research Establishment, Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers or by a Chartered Surveyor MRICS.
- Ensure you appoint a diligent accredited energy assessor like us at Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd.
As quoted by the Commercial Property Q&A Clinic, with 2dgreesnetwork and Deloitte Real Estate. (http://www.2degreesnetwork.com/groups/built-environment/resources/how-can-you-use-epc-data-deliver-real-improvements/)
“If you intend to use EPCs as a basis for carrying out improvement works which specifically target regulated energy use, then we recommend that the Certificate you are using to inform you decisions have been prepared by assessors that are accredited by either the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers or the Building Research Establishment. In all of our portfolio analyses for clients, we have found these to be the most reliable. Where this is not possible, we suggest that your give preference to assessors that are also recognised property or engineering professionals such as MCIBSE, MRICS, or MEI.”
Source:- www.2degreesnetwork.com How can you use EPC data to deliver real improvements? 24th April 2013.
At Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd, we are Chartered Quantity Surveyors and specialise in Building Engineering Services. Member of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers / Members of CIBSE Low Carbon Consultants scheme and members of the Building Research Establishment accredited to produce Commercial EPC’s and provide a professional, cost effective service.
“Like all things in life, you only get what you pay for! Do not go with the lowest cost when you require a Commercial EPC assessment, as it could potentially affect the value of the property. We are here to ensure you receive the most detailed and accurate Commercial energy assessment for your property / portfolio.”
Robert Corbyn MRICS, Director of Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd
Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd provides our clients with the one of the fastest turnarounds in the industry and we are confident we can meet your requirement. We have over twenty years experience within the Construction Industry. Regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Regulation Authority.
LCEA carry out commercial EPC’s and are locally available in North London, South London, East London, West London, Central London and carryout Commercial Energy Performance (EPCs) assessments throughout the whole of the UK.
We can easily provide a free quotation if you require a Commercial EPC. Call us now or use our ‘Request a Quote’ function for a competitive price.
Should you have any other queries regarding commercial epc prices please do ‘Contact Us’.