Understanding EPC Ratings For Businesses
Posted on Nov 24, 2022
Within the energy sector there are plenty of terms to get to grips with. As a business looking to save money on your energy bills, understanding what all these terms mean will help. One such term that you will almost certainly have come across will be EPC rating. In this latest article, we will be delving into exactly what EPC means and how this relates to businesses.
What is EPC?
An EPC or energy perform certificate is used to rate how energy efficient a building is. This is used for both domestic and commercial buildings. The ratings, as shown on the graph, are between A to G. A building with a rating of ‘A’ is considered the most efficient, and ‘G’ being the least efficient. An accredited assessor will provide an EPC certificate which is then valid for 10 years.
An EPC for a commercial building must be obtained whenever a property is built, sold or let. This is the responsibility of the building landlord or owner. So, if you are renting a commercial building, you will need to be shown the EPC certificate during the tenancy agreement process.
How an EPC is determined
As mentioned above, an accredited assessor will visit a property to determine the EPC rating. They will do this by taking into account a number of factors:
- The age and size of the property
- The main heating systems
- Lighting – whether any energy saving light bulbs or low energy light bulbs are in use
- Windows – if you have double glazing or higher
After reviewing these areas of the property, the assessor will make some calculations and provide an EPC rating using the scale mentioned above. Along with this, property owners or landlords will be provided with guidance on how to improve their property EPC if this is particularly poor.
There are some buildings that do not require an EPC according to the UK government, these include:
- Places of worship
- Temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
- Stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50 square metres
- Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that do not use a lot of energy
- Some buildings that are due to be demolished
- Holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
- Listed buildings – you should get advice from your local authority conservation officer if the work would alter the building’s character
- Residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
Goals for a net zero future
With the government’s goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the rules regarding EPC ratings are changing. Over the course of the next 10 years, these rules will become stricter for all. This is to encourage as many building owners and landlords as possible to make positive changes to the energy efficiency of their properties.
At the start of 2023, plans have been put in place for all commercial properties that are under tenancy to an EPC rating of E or better. As it stands this will require some landlords to make improvements now to meet the upcoming requirements.
How to Improve a Commercial EPC Rating
Landlords and commercial property owners can improve the EPC rating of a business premises by completing several tasks. Some of the most common and effective ways to do this are:
- To improve the insulation of the building
- Change the lighting to LED lights
- Ensure double glazing is installed in all windows
- Draught proof the property
- Switch to renewable energy sources such as solar panels
For more about EPC ratings and how to save on your business energy, why not get in touch with a member of the D-ENERGi team. We’re here to help!
What is P272? P27what? You aren’t alone in the dark about P272. P272 is regarded as one of the biggest shakeups to the business electricity market since deregulation. Sounds more like a character out of star wars, but here are some facts on P272, which we have put together hopefully jargon free. If you unsure on how P272 affects your business please do not hesitate to contact us for free on 0800 781 7626, we will be delighted to help you further. You may also like to view our infographic and visit our support page dedicated to the P272 OFGEM legislation.
The Facts – What Is P272
P272 is a new regulation which has been implemented by OFGEM. It affects the way suppliers settle electricity consumption for businesses with a specified energy use. Resulting in sites being changed to half hourly.
Remember, remember the 5th November… “Guy Fawkes?”. No, no… this is when the P272 migration began! The deadline for all sites to be settled to Half-Hourly is 1st April 2017. Don’t be fooled by the date, it really is 1st April! Also, don’t be put off by the 2017 threat – it’ll be here before you know it!
The settlement is being put in place in order for suppliers to balance the amount of energy being purchased from the Generators. The aim for P272 is to make the readings more accurate via the half hourly consumption. This will provide distributors with more understanding on electricity use. This results in networks ensuring they are sufficiently developed and maintained.
Ultimately, P272 helps you and your business manage and also use the energy smartly. It gives you the opportunity to see where and when you are consuming energy. Also, a more accurate settlement which could lead to better tariff rates… something nobody would say no to, agreed?
Now you (hopefully) have a little more understanding of P272 here is how to prepare:
Learn if your portfolio is affected.
Speak to your supplier, they will be more than happy to explore your options with you.
Select your Half-Hourly Meter and Data Collector.
If your business has a maximum demand electricity supply categorised by profile classes:
05 06 07 08
And you have an Automated Meter Reading meter of which is capable of HH data collection and remote programming. Just to let you know… 160,000 sites are affected so it is definitely worth double, maybe even triple checking!
“How do I check?!” I hear you say? Simple… you just check the S number at the top of your electricity bill to find out your sites profile class.
Believe it or not, P272 can be very beneficial for you and here’s why:
You receive accurate billing
It offers you the ability to avoid peak times of electricity use
It gives you an insight on your energy usage
It allows you to make room for an opportunity of improvement and efficiency
This is an OFGEM regulation affecting ALL maximum demand meters and ALL electricity suppliers equally. If you’re being advised P272 does not affect your business, please let us double check this for you.
A Russian rocket blasted into space this month to investigate whether any methane gas is present on Mars, as part of the joint ExoMars project created by the European and Russian space agencies.
Methane is a gas created by living microbes, and if it were to be detected it would be a revelation in the space industry as it could prove that life exists or existed on the red planet, some 225 million kilometres away from the Earth (which is itself something of a shock, given that in 2003 Mars was a mere 56 million kms away).
We already know there is life-giving water on Mars. Just like the Earth it has ice caps, although the water they contain is more elusive. The American space agency NASA made a huge discovery in 2006 when it found there was water flowing through the planet in even the hottest months of the year, and that the ‘lines’ that appear on our satellite images of Mars are streaks of flowing salt water.
That’s when the questions ‘did life exist on Mars, and can we find out?’ really started to arise.
The ExoMars project involves sending up a Trace Gas Orbiter to sniff the Martian atmosphere for methane, and if the results are positive then this would establish that methane has been generated via geology or a biological process.
As part of the same mission, a stationary lander called Schiaparelli will test the technology for a subsequent mission – ExoMars 2018 – which will see a UK-built rover collect soil samples filled with water particles and drill below the planet’s surface to look for other signs of life. That’s when the search for Martian life will start in earnest.
These two projects combined will cost an eye-watering £900 million but isn’t it worth it for the chance to make one of the biggest discoveries of all time? What a time to be alive!
Planetary scientist Dr Peter Grindrod, from Birkbeck, University of London, who is funded by the UK Space Agency, certainly thinks so. “It’s incredibly exciting,” he enthused. “This is a series of missions that’s trying to address one of the fundamental questions in science: is there life anywhere else besides the Earth? Finding that life exists elsewhere in the solar system would be a huge discovery, so the evidence has to be strong. As they say, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
Wouldn’t it be amazing to find out if there really is Life On Mars, or if there has been in the past. It’s astonishing to think there could be more than just us Earthlings in our solar system!