Like residential properties, all commercial properties are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate which rates the building’s energy efficiency from A through to G.
The EPC assessment takes into account the way the building is built and insulated, as well as the heating and lighting systems within the building, and is intended as a guide to the energy costs that residents or tenants would expect to face.
Come 2018, the Government is looking at introducing a minimum energy efficiency standard, probably equivalent to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E for properties in the non-domestic private rented sector in England and Wales.
Given that around 18% of commercial properties are currently rated in the lowest bands of F and G, this could affect up to 80,000 properties, forcing tens of thousands of landlords to make significant improvements to the energy efficiency of their properties.
Even if your property meets the standards, research published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change has shown that properties with better efficiency ratings were sold for significantly more .
Get ahead of the game on making your property ready for new regulations, and raise its value, with the following five tips:
- 1. Consult your EPC
As well as giving your property a rating, EPC assessments also give owners a good indication of how best to improve current ratings. British Gas offers both EPCs and one-off energy audits which will give you a clear idea of what’s needed to meet likely new regulations on energy efficiency if you’re a number of years short of your next assessment date.
- 2. Get a new, energy efficient boiler
Like domestic properties, heating is the main drain on energy for commercial buildings, and can be one of the most expensive things to change. Replacing your older, less efficient boiler can dramatically improve your EPC rating, and can reduce energy use by up to 25% for your tenants. British Gas is currently offering businesses a new A-rated boiler installed from just £1,725* which includes a free first year Annual Service** and protection of your new boiler by chemically cleansing the existing system. We also offer maintenance packages for landlords to help keep the boiler and heating system working efficiently.
If you would like to discuss getting a new energy efficient boiler for your business, please call us on 0800 316 5164.
- 3. Check your lighting
Lighting is a significant cost – this can be up to 40% of total energy usage. Replacing traditional bulbs with compact fluorescent and LED lighting can not only reduce energy usage by around 80%, but also generate significantly less heat, reducing the strain on air conditioning systems.
- 4. Have your property correctly insulated
Improving the insulation of the building can be a cost-effective way to reduce energy bills and boost your EPC rating: high quality roof insulation retains up to 25% more heat. Your current EPC should give you a sense of the building’s overall heat efficiency, and tenants can ask to see a breakdown of existing insulation in the building – make sure you have this to hand.
- 5. Invest in new technology
Increasingly, businesses are turning to more innovative solutions to reduce bills, and this could also help you improve EPC ratings. Solar thermal technology, unlike traditional photo voltaic panels, uses the energy in the sun’s rays to heat liquid-filled tubes, which in turn heats water and can reduce the demands on traditional water heating systems. The cost of installing new systems may seem prohibitive, but schemes such as Green Deal finance can mean that the electricity bill-payer will meet the cost of the improvements through reductions in their energy bills.
For more information about British Gas’s range of services for commercial landlords, including the current boiler offer, please visit Britishgas.co.uk/business/boiler-installs.
*Prices and boilers may change depending on existing system requirements.
*** Equivalent to 1 year’s care plan 1 annual service contract on new appliances purchased.
† Calls may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance and compliance purposes. Calls to
0800 numbers are free from a BT landline. Call charges from other networks or mobiles may be
higher. Please contact your network operator for information about the cost of calls.
 Dwellings with an EPC rating of F and E sold for around six per cent more than those with a G rating; Those rated D sold for eight per cent more than a G rated property; Dwellings rated C sold for ten per cent more than a G rated property; And those rated A or B sold for around 14 per cent more than G rated properties (An investigation of the effect of EPC ratings on house prices, DECC, June 2013)