It’s now more than 10 years since EPCs were introduced, creating a huge change in energy related regulations and the property industry as a whole. Subsequently, energy assessors have had to adapt to the new challenges to ensure they deliver what’s now expected regarding solutions to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption to hit targets in the UK property market.
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) is typical of the new standards laid down to ensure that energy assessors are focusing on quality and competence. And this is no longer a standard box ticking exercise. Many of the early energy assessors in 2007 had little experience of building services, operations and other requirements. These days energy assessors have to understand every complexity involved.
EPCs now have to be precise, according to MEES, and energy assessors are expected to look closely at sub standard properties with F or G EPC ratings. The result has a huge effect on the building under scrutiny, from rent and lease renewals to capital values impacting on possible mergers and acquisition strategies.
Furthermore, this poses huge challenges to energy assessors – poor EPC ratings have a negative impact on multi-million pound property deals and energy assessors need to be able to answer any challenges brought against them. So energy assessors need to ensure they access accurate information and robust quality systems when writing up EPCs, which will be called for auditing by the respective accreditation bodies under requirement by the Communities of Local Government.
F or G rated EPCs will fall under close scrutiny as many of these are believed to be incorrectly lodged. Most common reasons for poor EPCs are; using default software values, incorrect level for the building type and incorrect data used to generate the EPC.
It’s no surprise that companies hiring energy assessors are now applying stricter due diligence to ensure they mitigate any risk. Some are in line with the auditing requirements of the accreditation bodies that request an evidence pack to support the EPC. Karsons Consulting have taken a view that we will NOT CHARGE for an EPC that is an F or G rating… subject to simple due diligence.
It also has to be remembered that clients generally fail to understand what is needed for a good energy performance. All energy assessors should be asking incisive questions of the property management team. This will make sure the uses of the property are accurately reflected in the EPC. The downside of incorrect information is that the energy use predictions are also likely to be wrong – often very wide of the mark.
So when assessing property it’s critical that all energy-related information provided is as accurate as possible. This can be difficult with new properties, where energy usage information is not often forthcoming.
The idea of producing energy reports is to highlight measures what will improve energy consumption and go some way to helping overall energy efficiency.
Another issue to keep in mind is the constant and accurate recording of energy consumption data. This is crucial for ensuring that you’re able to calculate an accurate return on investment, should this be applicable.
You also need to be aware that regulatory issues are changing all the time. This is where Karsons Consulting are able to provide our expertise. Along with energy efficiency concerns, there is new legislation around health and wellbeing in the workplace, social responsibility and environmental issues. All these new areas often fall within the remit of the property manager, but supported by the energy assessor or our team at Karsons Consulting.
To conclude – it’s clearly essential to choose the correct energy assessor for your EPC rating and for the longevity of your building management. Today, it’s not just about energy efficiency, but about the health of your business and your workforce. Choose Karsons Consulting to support you with this and you’ll be ensuring your building’s energy performance is accurately reflected in the EPC and finally, we will not charge for F or G ratings.