In the United Kingdom, just like any other commercial property available for lease or purchase, warehouses typically necessitate an EPC certification. An energy performance certificate (EPC) serves as a testament to the energy efficiency of your establishment, quantifying the amount of energy consumed to operate the building.
An Energy Performance Certificate serves as a unique documentation reflecting the energy efficiency of a particular property. To obtain an EPC for a warehouse, an assessor conducts a thorough on-site visit, where they observe the premises and make essential observations. Rest assured, their examination is non-intrusive, and they only require complete access to the property to gather the necessary data.
EPCs are classified into two main categories: domestic and non-domestic. Since we're discussing a warehouse, the focus lies on obtaining a non-domestic certificate. The evaluation process for non-domestic EPCs, also known as commercial EPCs, involves engaging specialized assessors due to the increased complexity of the assessment.
Warehouses, unlike most buildings, can sometimes be exempt from the requirement of having an EPC. This exemption can be particularly advantageous when considering Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), which we will discuss further later on.
According to the regulations, an EPC is not necessary for "industrial sites, workshops, or non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy consumption." While this statement may appear somewhat ambiguous (a common occurrence in property legislation), it essentially means that if your warehouse lacks a heating system and integrated office space, you are not obliged to obtain an EPC.
In most cases, the impact of EPC rating on the value of a warehouse is minimal. Unlike residential properties and office buildings, warehouses, agricultural structures, and industrial units do not exhibit a significant correlation between EPC improvements and value appreciation.
This can be attributed to the relatively low operating costs associated with these properties, where expenses such as lighting and heating bills are often outweighed by other commercial expenditures. While it is true that a warehouse with lower running costs is generally more desirable than a costly alternative, most warehouses typically have lower EPC ratings by their very nature.
To obtain an EPC for a warehouse, the first step is to engage a qualified energy assessor. Look for professionals who are accredited by an approved scheme, such as the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government's Register of Non-Domestic Energy Assessors.
Before the assessment, it's important to gather relevant information and documentation about the warehouse. This includes floor plans, building specifications, heating and cooling systems, insulation details, and any recent refurbishments or upgrades.
The energy assessor will visit the warehouse to conduct a thorough energy assessment. The assessment involves inspecting the building's fabric, insulation, lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
Using the data collected during the assessment, the energy assessor will calculate the EPC rating for the warehouse. The rating is based on a scale from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G being the least.
Once the assessment is complete and the rating calculated, the energy assessor will provide an EPC report for the warehouse. The report includes the EPC rating, recommendations for improving energy efficiency, and estimated energy savings from implementing those recommendations.
To improve the energy efficiency of the warehouse and achieve a higher EPC rating, consider implementing the recommended energy-saving measures outlined in the EPC report. These measures may include installing LED lighting, improving insulation, upgrading heating and cooling systems, or integrating renewable energy sources. By making these improvements, you can not only enhance the EPC rating but also reduce energy costs in the long run.
MEES, which stands for Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, refers to a set of regulations introduced by the government in 2018. These standards aim to ensure that buildings are only leased or rented if they meet a minimum energy efficiency requirement. Specifically, for your warehouse to comply with MEES, it must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above.
To ensure that your warehouse meets the MEES standards, the first step is to determine whether it requires an EPC. If it doesn't meet the criteria for needing an EPC, you can proceed with leasing the property without having to meet the MEES requirements.
If your warehouse falls short of the MEES guidelines, it is recommended to focus on improving the lighting. While lighting has a minimal impact on domestic EPCs, it can significantly affect warehouses and other commercial buildings. Upgrading from old-style bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs is the most cost-effective way to improve your warehouse's EPC rating.
If upgrading the lighting doesn't help you achieve the minimum requirements, you may consider enhancing the draught proofing, heating system, or insulation in your warehouse. If you are unsure about how to meet the MEES target, we are available. Manchester EPC offers MEES advice free of charge for any EPC service we provide. Our expertise is accessible to everyone, and we are here to answer any questions you may have regarding MEES compliance.