Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Buildings are the single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK. Homes contribute about one third of the UK’s total CO2 emissions. The European and UK Governments have set challenging targets for reductions in emissions and have identified improvements to the energy performance of homes as a key element of the strategy.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is intended to provide a record of an assessment of the energy performance of a building and a guide to how it can be improved.
The European Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings 2002/91/EC (EPBD) requires every Member State to develop a general methodology to calculate the energy performance of almost all buildings and an EPC to be made available when a building is constructed, sold or rented.
An EPC provides two pieces of information;
- The Energy Efficiency Rating of a property
- The Environmental Impact Rating of a property
Ratings come on a scale of A - G, with A being the best rating. The scale starts with G at the bottom and through a points system works up to A at the top. Currently the national average is a D rate.
The EPC also includes recommendations which lists the potential improvements that can be made to a property in order to:
- Reduce fuel bills
- Improve the Energy Efficiency Rating of the property
- Cut carbon emissions to improve the Environmental Impact Rating
When is an EPC Required?
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) states that almost all buildings in the UK that are constructed, sold or offered for rent require an EPC.
- An EPC is required whenever a property is marketed for sale or rent
- The EPC is lodged on to a central national register by an accredited Assessor
- The EPC is valid for 10 years
- This applies to all sellers hoping to sell their property and to landlords offering a property for rent
Are any properties Exempt from needing an EPC?
There are some building types that may be exempt from requiring an EPC these include;
- places of worship
- temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
- stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50 square metres
- industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
- some buildings that are due to be demolished
- holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
- listed buildings - you should get advice from your local authority conservation officer if the work would alter the building’s character
- residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
How is an EPC produced?
Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) or a Home Inspector (HI) who is a member of an approved Government Accreditation scheme. The energy assessor will visit the property to determine the energy related features. These are then entered into a computer program which has a calculation model developed by the government and is known as Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure (RDSAP)
RDSAP is a cost-based rating system which uses pre-determined assumptions. It does not look at the appliances, but rather the performance of the building itself in areas such as heating and lighting. In other words, it provides an energy efficiency rating for the property itself rather than an occupancy rating.
When collecting the RDSAP data the energy assessor will need to access all rooms/areas of the property to determine the following:
- Property type
- Age of property
- Type of construction
- Property dimensions
- Room and water heating systems
- Insulation levels
- Windows and glazing types
- Types of lighting
This information will be entered into the calculation software and an EPC will be produced, lodged on the database and a copy provided to you