Launching our brand-new tailored energy consultancy
We’re all doing our bit to reduce our energy consumption, in the face of the cost-of-living crisis and ongoing worries about the state of the world’s climate. We’ve noticed this ever-growing demand to cut consumption, improve the efficiency of the nation’s buildings and reduce our collective carbon footprint – across both residential homes and, increasingly, commercial buildings too. But for those who are feeling a bit lost in this new world of working towards ‘net zero’, we’ve launched our own tailored energy Fourwalls Energy consultancy, Fourwalls Energy to help.
Our new venture provides recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of properties across the UK, alongside our standard energy and retrofit assessments. So if you receive an F rating on your EPC – it’s not the end of the world. We can help you improve your grade, saving money in the home in the long term as well as doing a little bit more to help the planet.
In This Post
Firstly, what is an EPC? To put it simply, the energy performance certificate (or EPC) is an assessment, carried out by an experienced energy assessor, which gives property owners and prospective buyers clear and concise information about the energy efficiency of a property. Each certificate has a rating, from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and there are now regulations which outline a minimum efficiency standard for rental properties (you can read more about that in our MEES blog here).
Essentially, those properties that score lower than an E will be required to make improvements until they meet the minimum standard or they cannot be rented out. All residential dwellings in the UK legally require an EPC, and it’s increasingly more common for commercial buildings too.
As you can imagine, a lower rating can mean significant costs for landlords or sellers, as often significant upgrades are needed to get a property up to the correct standards. Our EPC consultancy team can provide detailed recommendations to help improve energy efficiency, reduce heating bills and energy consumption, and even make the transition from fossil fuel methods (like oil-fired central heating) to greener choices (like heat pumps).
There are three elements to our EPC consultancy services:
- MEES advice/survey
Our advisory team uses EPC data collection onsite and can provide recommendations and advice to help your property reach the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for domestic and commercial rental buildings. This service seeks to help landlords who are struggling to meet the minimum E grade (or C grade potentially from 2025). This service is also ideal for those homeowners wanting to improve the energy efficiency of their home, or for that of their tenants if they are a landlord.
- Carbon reduction advice/survey
Reducing a property’s carbon footprint is an increasingly popular demand for lots of homeowners – in line with the government’s targets for net zero by 2050. A carbon reduction survey and subsequent recommendations can show how changing to a low-carbon or no-carbon system can reduce the carbon emissions of a home, while maintaining a high EPC grade (essential for rental properties).
- Private rented sector exemption process
There are some properties for which it’s not possible to reach the minimum E standard, due to age or listing status which would prevent some of the recommendations, like insulation or changes to the structure, from being carried out. Though this is now a rarity due to the scope of unobtrusive improvements and really a last resort, our team can help you navigate the exemption process. While some upgrades may need to be made before applying for an exemption, our team can guide you through the various options.
For large scale developments such as social housing or refurbishments of purpose-built apartment blocks, our team can undertake an in-depth analysis to understand the occupancy type, energy consumption and condition, to see what improvements can be made to bring a property up to a higher standard of living. This is a wide-ranging assessment, usually working alongside the building coordinator to look at everything from the type of construction to the structure and internal features, plus defects like leaks, condensation and even mould. Our retrofit coordinators have gone through rigorous training and are qualified in line with PAS 2035 and are TRUSTMARK registered, so they are best placed to making recommendations – an essential part of any domestic retrofit project.
As well as our consultancy services, our assessors can also provide standard EPCs which can be a useful tool for understanding efficiencies (or inefficiencies!) within the home, showing where you could reduce energy bills or even transition to greener heating methods. Domestic EPCs are an essential (and legally required) certificate when selling or renting houses, while non-domestic EPCs are required when the property is sold, let or built and are valid for 10 years from the date of issue. They’re also a recommended ‘energy awareness’ tool for large office blocks, hotels, warehouses, and even smaller enterprises such as shops, restaurants and cafes – anything to lower those electricity bills!
Our assessors are fully qualified and accredited with either Stroma or Elmhurst and can make recommendations based on the results of the EPC.
Who is Fourwalls Energy?
Julie Fuggle is Associate Director of Fourwalls Energy and has been a part of Fourwalls and our sister London company, DJD since 2011. She started working in the property sector in 2007, when EPCs were an essential part of the now-defunct Home Information Packs for property sales. She has extensive knowledge of the sector.
Julie works closely with all our EPC clients, handling queries about EPCs and assisting the wider EPC team with troubleshooting. Julie provides advice to homeowners as part of our consultancy service and can help to make sense of EPC recommendations, whether that’s a simple, cost-effective measure to a full-scale refurbishment to bring a property up to a higher standard.
If you would like more information about Fourwalls Energy and our new consultancy, retrofit and EPC services, please visit our dedicated webpage here or contact us via the usual methods.
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