WHAT ARE ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES?
An Energy Performance Certificate (E.P.C.) gives information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. All homes bought, sold or rented require an EPC.
- – information on your home’s energy use and carbon dioxide emissions
- – a recommendation report with suggestions to reduce energy use and carbon dioxide emissions
ENERGY USE & CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS
EPCs carry ratings that compare the current energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions with potential figures that your home could achieve. Potential figures are calculated by estimating what the energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions would be if energy saving measures were put in place. The rating measures the energy and carbon emission efficiency of your home using a grade from ‘A’ to ‘G’. An ‘A’ rating is the most efficient, while ‘G’ is the least efficient. The average efficiency grade to date is ‘D’. All homes are measured using the same calculations, so you can compare the energy efficiency of different properties. Around 27 per cent of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions come from domestic homes. Carbon dioxide contributes to climate change.
THE RECOMMENDATION REPORT
EPCs also provide a detailed recommendation report showing what you could do to help reduce the amount of energy you use and your carbon dioxide emissions. The report lists:
- suggested improvements, like fitting loft insulation
- possible cost savings per year, if the improvements are made
- how the recommendations would change the energy and carbon emission rating of the property
You don’t have to act on the recommendations in the recommendation report. However, if you decide to do so, it could make your property more attractive for sale or rent by making it more energy efficient. The certificate also contains:
- * detailed estimates of potential energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel costs
- * details of the person who carried out the EPC assessment
- * who to contact if you want to make a complaint
Information about energy efficiency and carbon emissions is summarised in two charts that show the energy and carbon dioxide emission ratings. The charts look similar to those supplied on electrical appliances, like fridges and washing machines. You should receive an EPC when you are thinking about buying or renting a home. You’ll need to provide one if you are selling or letting your home. An EPC is valid for ten years.
WHICH BUILDINGS REQUIRE AN E.P.C?
An EPC is required when a building is constructed, rented or sold. A building will need an EPC if it has a roof and walls and uses energy to ‘condition an indoor climate’. This means it has heating, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation. For example, a garden shed would not need an EPC if it doesn’t have any heating. The building can either be a whole building or part of a building that has been designed or altered to be used separately. If a building is made up of separate units, each with its own heating system, each unit will need an EPC. Owners of all commercial buildings also have to provide an EPC when they sell or let commercial premises.
WHICH BUILDINGS DON’T REQUIRE AN E.P.C?
The following buildings don’t need an EPC when they are built, rented or sold:
- places of worship
- temporary buildings that will be used for less than two years
- standalone buildings with total useful floor area of less than 50 square metres that aren’t used to provide living accommodation for a single household
- industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
WHO CAN ASSESS ENERGY EFFICIENCY?
An EPC is required by law when a building is built, sold or put up for rent. If you are a landlord or homeowner and need to provide an EPC, you’ll need to contact an accredited domestic energy assessor. They will carry out the assessment and produce the certificate.
Accreditation schemes make sure that domestic energy assessors (DEAs) have the right skills and are able to carry out the survey to agreed standards. These schemes ensure that DEAs:
- adhere to standards, codes of conduct and procedures
- are qualified to conduct an energy assessment, produce the certificate and give advice
- have the correct insurance
- are part of a register
- have had a criminal records check
- have a complaints procedure
Domestic energy assessors may be employed by a company (like an estate agent or energy company) or be self-employed. Always check that your domestic energy assessor belongs to an accreditation scheme.