Energy Performance Certificates

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are being introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

If you are buying or selling a home you now need a certificate by law. Since October 2008 EPCs have been required whenever a building is built, sold or rented out. The certificate provides ‘A’ to ‘G’ ratings for the building, with ‘A’ being the most energy efficient and ‘G’ being the least, with the average up to now being ‘D’.

Accredited energy assessors produce EPCs alongside an associated report which suggests improvements to make a building more energy efficient.

Energy Performance Certificates – what they tell you

EPCs contain:

  • 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 and 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

What an EPC looks like

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.

How to get an EPC

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. Nightingale Property Sales & Letting are able to supply both domestic & commercial EPC’s.

Which buildings need an EPC

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.

Which buildings don’t need an EPC

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 metres squared 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

EPCs for business premises

Owners of all commercial buildings also have to provide an EPC when they sell or let commercial premises. For more information about this please contact Nightingale Property Sales & Letting on 01934 614400.