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What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?


Domestic EPC NRG Assessments

You may have heard of an Energy Performance Certificate or EPC, yet you may not be aware of their significance, or history – and what is likely to become of them in future.

 

In this blog post, we'll delve into the intricacies of EPCs, shedding light on their purpose, importance, and the implications they have for both property domestic and commercial owners and the environment.

 

Let’s start with a little bit of history…


Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were part of the Home Information Pack (HIPS).

The UK government first introduced residential EPCs as part of the Home Information Pack (HIP) in 2007, which sellers needed to provide when selling residential properties, initially with four bedrooms or more, but extended to three bedroom properties soon after.


EPCs were introduced due to the requirements of the EU Directive on the energy performance of buildings as well as a government hope that this would reduce the number of aborted sales due to ‘gazumping’, where sellers initially agreed a sale but then accepted a higher offer, but there is little evidence that this had any impact on this practice.

 

The incoming government suspended the requirement for HIPs in May 2010 with the exception that an Energy Performance Certificate is still required as this was an EU directive.

 

EPCs were extended to include all commercial properties in 2008.


What are Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a standardised document that provides information about the energy efficiency of a property. It rates the property's energy efficiency on a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. Residential energy performance certificates also include recommendations for improving energy efficiency and reducing energy costs.


Types of EPC

  • A domestic EPC is required for a home or dwelling including some HMOs (houses of multiple occupation).

  • Commercial EPCs are for a business premises that are not exempt from having an EPC.

  • There are also Display Energy Certificates (DECs), which are required for public buildings to advise those using the building of its energy efficiency.


How is a property’s energy performance assessed?

The energy assessment needed to produce an EPC is performed by a qualified and accredited energy assessor. The assessor will make a site visit on most occasions to the property. While inspecting the property the assessor will be looking at key areas of the building which in summary include, the building fabric, floors, insulation, heating /cooling services, hot water, radiators, heating /cooling controls, windows, etc.

 

They then use a software program which performs the calculation of energy efficiency. and gives a rating of energy efficiency, and similar for overall environmental impact of the property. SBEM is used for the commercial EPCs, while RDSAP is used for the domestic EPCs.


Why are EPCs Required in the UK?

In the UK, it is a legal requirement for sellers and landlords to provide an EPC to prospective buyers or tenants. This mandate is governed by the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012.


EPCs empower prospective buyers or tenants by providing them with essential information about a property's energy efficiency. This enables individuals to make informed decisions based not only on the property's aesthetics or location but also on its long-term sustainability and energy costs.

 

With growing concerns about climate change and environmental sustainability, promoting energy efficiency in buildings is imperative. EPCs contribute to this goal by raising awareness about energy consumption and encouraging both home and business property owners to implement measures that reduce their carbon footprint.


What information does an EPC include?

Energy Efficiency Rating:

This is the primary component of an EPC, indicating the property's current energy efficiency level. It is displayed on a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least.

 

Estimated Energy Costs:

The certificate includes an estimate of the property's energy costs, providing potential buyers or tenants with insights into the financial implications of its energy consumption.

 

Recommendations for Improvement: 

EPCs offer recommendations for enhancing the property's energy efficiency. These suggestions may include installing insulation, upgrading heating systems, or utilizing renewable energy sources.

 

What are the Implications for Property Owners?

Compliance: 

Property owners must ensure compliance with EPC regulations when selling or renting out their properties, whether commercial or residential. Failure to provide an EPC can result in financial penalties.


Property Value: 

A higher energy efficiency rating can enhance the value of a property, making it more attractive to prospective buyers or tenants. Conversely, a low rating may deter potential occupants and diminish the property's market value.

 

Long-Term Savings: 

Implementing energy-efficient measures not only benefits the environment but also results in long-term cost savings for property owners through reduced energy bills.

 

In conclusion, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) still serve as valuable tools in the UK's efforts to promote energy efficiency and environmental sustainability in the housing and commercial sectors. By providing transparent information about a property's energy performance, EPCs empower individuals to make informed decisions while fostering a culture of energy-consciousness among property owners. As we navigate the challenges of climate change, EPCs stand as tangible reminders of the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and building a more sustainable future.



 

NRG Assessments are experts in Energy Performance Certificates and assist property owners of both residential and commercial properties with their EPC needs. Give us a call or get in touch today to discuss your requirements.

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