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Commercial - New conventions...

I attended a presentation yesterday which was focussed on the new Commercial EPC conventions, that come into place on Sunday 1st July 2018. Whilst there are a number of new conventions, there is one main part that will be of particular note to any property agents and landlords. This is a change on an unheated unit, that is a unit (usually a portal frame) with no personnel spaces other than an unheated toilet.

Typically these units score quite badly with respect to MEES, as the expectation and convention is to assume a (usually small) toilet requires heating. This inevitably leads to a poor rating, often an F or G and therefore a MEES improvement programme.

Under the new convention one typical unit I assessed changed from 137 F to 99 D if the toilet is no longer considered to use default electrical heating.

What does this mean for ……

  • Building without a current EPC – there will be no mandatory need for an EPC to be carried out (as it is now a low energy building), however an EPC can still be carried out if solicitors, banks etc. are still asking for one. The energy rating will be largely based on lighting, so as long as the main area is lit by fluorescents, the likelihood is on an E or better.

  • Building with a past EPC that is an F or G. - This will need re-assessing under the new Convention. As there is a current EPC it will register an F or G so will need to be replaced by a more recent one.

  • Building with an office/tea room and a toilet – unfortunately the toilet will then be deemed as heated.

As assessors we are QA checked to clearly need to rigidly adhere to guidance.

The above change hopefully will mean that there will be a significant number of problem buildings that are no longer an issue. I believe this change was largely driven by assessors like myself identifying this issue, so hopefully a good outcome for all concerned.

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