Feed In Tariff - the catch 

Once you have had your solar panels installed and feed in tariff applied you are locked in for twenty years, which is a long time. 
 
There are two rates for the Feed In Tariffs the HIGHER rate and LOWER rate, to determine which rate will apply to yourself and your property an Commercial Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is used.  
 
The ideal goal is to achieve at least a D standard to get on the higher rate (there are some exceptions to this, for example schools). If you receive lower than a D you will be placed on the lower rate. 
 
This could have a significant financial impact on your ability to the pay back of your panels and will take longer to reach the payback period. So its essential that you get that higher rate. 
 
BEST Compliance have issued a Guide on FITs which can be found here 

EPC for FITs 

So your thinking about Solar but don't know where you property EPC will fall! 

BEST Compliance are experts in Commercial Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's). We have acted for thousands of landlords and commercial agencies, and even we couldn't be definate, just by looking at a property, as to what the grade would be, so we know how daunting this D rating would be. It's almost a game changer if you don't achieve a D due to the financial loss of being on the lower band. 
 
Your property might already have a EPC lodged and on the central register but is it really reflective of what it truly is? From our experience, not really. 
 
BEST Compliance assessors have extensive experience producing commercial EPCs and in-particular commercial EPC audits on a variety of property and property portfolios. Our conclusion is that many EPC's produced by inexperienced EPC assessors and budget firms yield many harmful errors. We have found, in more instances than you would think, that EPC's placed on the wrong building, (whilst the business name was correct, the address was incorrect), thus making the client think they had a valid EPC when they didn't, as the UPRN (Unique Property Reference Number) was for the neighbouring unit. 
 
Inexperience also showed in the grade where a lack of engineering understanding of the heating and ventilation systems showed default values being used for equipment (this is normally the poorest efficiency 65%) whilst in real terms the units could be operating between 80 -90%. This affects the grade substantially in some cases knocking down from a C to a G rating. 

Ever changing EPC's  

EPC's are built from approved documents, and in particular Approved Document L Energy Efficiency. Since the year 2010 these are reformed every three years . From modeling both the 2010 and 2013 changes, it is likely that a building’s current EPC rating will dropped one band each time that the Building Regulations are reformed and tightened. As EPCs are valid for 10 years, some older EPCs may not be reflecting the current rating of the building 

PANIC OVER. BEST Compliance have a Solution 

BEST Compliance have acknowledged the problem and devised a simple solution, we call it the "EPC FIT Plus". 
 
The EPC FIT Plus we offer is a 3 stage strategy; 
 
STAGE 1: 
The first stage is the actual real time EPC on the property which includes a visual survey to collect current information. This will ascertain its current EPC status and if it falls into FIT Requirements. If the building does NOT conform to the requirements to get the HIGHER F.I.T it is advised to go to stage two. 
 
However if the building is already at a minimum of a D the EPC is lodged, and the HIGHER Feed in Tariff can be applied. 
 
STAGE 2: 
If the initial EPC falls below a D grade, BEST will apply Stage 2 desktop study to find the best course of action to achieve a minimum of a D EPC grade. We do this by looking into various problems the building is having in relation to the Energy Efficiency. The normal areas we look into are Lighting, HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) and Building Fabric. We aim to give you the cheapest (estimate) alternative to get to a D rating on the EPC.  
 
STAGE 3: 
Once the recommendations have been carried out, the surveyor comes back to site and performs a 2nd EPC survey. This time, if advice in the report is adhered to, the result will be a D or above and the higher F.I.T will be achievable, unlocking the future financial gain that will pay for the FIT Plus and pay entirely for or help with the upgrade costs. 
 

To view an example EPC F.I.T Plus Please click here ©  

EPC F.I.T Price Guide 

Stage 1 

 
The first stage is the actual real time EPC on the property which includes a visual survey to collect current information this will ascertain its current EPC status and if it falls into FIT Requirements. If the building does NOT conform to the requirements to get the HIGHER F.I.T it is advised to go to stage two. 
 
However if the building is already at a minimum of a D the EPC is lodged, and the HIGHER Feed in Tariff can be applied. 

Stage 2 

If the initial EPC falls below a grade D, BEST will apply Stage 2 desktop study to find the best course of action to achieve a minimum of a D EPC grade. – The F.I.T REPORT 

Stage 3 

Once the recommendations have been carried out, the surveyor comes back to site and performs a 2nd EPC survey. This time, if advice in the report is adhered to, the result will be a D or above and the higher F.I.T will be achievable.