13 Nov Improve Commercial Property’s Energy Rating With New Boiler
Whether you are a business owner, homeowner or a landlord, it is a good idea to improve your property’s energy performance certificate (EPC) rating, as this will reduce energy bills and limit your environmental impact.
Importance for landlords
Buy-to-let (BTL) owners have been updating their assets with more energy-efficient appliances and insulation over the last couple of years, in preparation for the government to introduce energy efficiency targets in April 2025.
These were going to stipulate that rented properties had to have an EPC rating of at least C, despite fewer than half currently having this.
Landlords who failed to upgrade their properties so they achieved an EPC rating of A-C were going to be fined.
However, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently scrapped these plans, instead telling BTL owners the government wants to “encourage households to [upgrade their energy efficiency] where they can”.
Although landlords are no longer obliged to improve the EPC for their tenants, it would be advantageous to invest in the energy efficiency of their properties, as this would make them more attractive to potential residents.
Importance for building owners and tenants
Being in a property with a poor energy rating means inhabitants have to spend more money on energy bills to keep it heated.
More than 12 million properties in England and Wales had an EPC rating of D or below in 2020, with D being the average efficiency rating of a residential home.
Therefore, millions of properties could improve their home’s energy performance, which would save them money in the long run.
The new Energy Price Cap from Ofgem is currently £1,834 per year for a typical household in the UK. However, this could be higher for those with greater energy use or more people using the property.
Although this is lower than the peak in 2022, when the government introduced the Energy Price Guarantee at £2,500 per year, it is still a big expense for most people.
Therefore, making energy efficiency improvements in the building will save them money in the long-term, as they will be spending less on their gas bills.
What improvements could they make to improve the EPC rating?
Homeowners, landlords and commercial business owners can make several improvements to their buildings to make them more energy efficient, which will not only make the property more appealing to tenants, but save money on their energy expenses.
- Replace boiler
The one change they could make that would have the biggest impact is replace the boiler with a new one.
An old, inefficient boiler will result in bills being hundreds of pounds more costly per year than they could be.
Although this is a big upfront expense, it is well worth doing. Boilers typically only last ten to 15 years, so if the one in your building is older than this, the chances are it is not running efficiently compared to modern-day standards.
- Boiler maintenance
It is also important to have your boiler, and other gas appliances, regularly checked and maintained.
Domestic and commercial gas engineers make sure the pipework, connections and machinery are running as effectively as they should be. Faults mean there is a risk of a gas leak, which is not only dangerous, but also means there is a considerable amount of wastage, costing the property owner money on their energy use.
- Heating controls
It sounds simple, but effective use of heating controls could save money on bills, as well as improve energy efficiency.
Upgrade your heating controls, such as programme, thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves, so you are able to change the settings in each room. Turning it down by just one degree could save a considerable amount every year.
- Upgrade windows
Another option to improve energy efficiency and raise the energy rating of the building is to replace single-glazed windows.
Opt for double- or even triple-glazing, as these are better at preventing heat being lost to the outside than single-glazed windows.
Even if you have double-glazed windows, they might not be working effectively, as they typically only have a lifespan of between 25 and 30 years. So, if they were last fitted in the ‘90s, it could be time to install new ones.
- Wall insulation
Cavity wall insulation is also a very effective way to improve energy ratings of both commercial and domestic properties.
According to the Energy Savings Trust, a third of the heat that escapes from uninsulated homes is through the walls.
Filling the cavity walls with insulation helps to prevent heat loss, so it means the thermostat does not need to be set as high, saving money on energy bills.