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What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

Many people in the UK are still unaware what an Energy Performance Certificate is and why it is required. Energy Performance Certificate , or EPC for short, is sometimes referred to as an Energy Certificate or EPC Certificate.

An Energy Performance Certificate is a report that details the energy efficiency of any given building, whether commercial, domestic or public. An Energy Performance Certificate can only be produced by qualified domestic and commercial energy assessors, who will inspect the property and collate information which is relevant to the energy efficiency of the building.

The energy assessor will look at:

  • Type of construction
  • Types of windows and doors in the property
  • Amount of insulation present (cavity wall and loft)
  • Central heating system i.e. boilers and radiators
  • Hot water tank if present
  • Ventilation systems

Once the assessment has been completed, the assessor will input this information into bespoke software known as RdSAP (Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure) that will produce a figure that displays the overall energy efficiency of the property. The property will then be awarded a grade between ‘A’ for the most energy efficient to ‘G’ being the least energy efficient. Further to this, an environmental impact rating will be given using the information from the same figures.

The figures are calculated by awarding SAP for the following aspects of any dwelling:

  • Type of Property
  • Number of storeys
  • Number of dwellings/liveable rooms
  • Age of building including any extensions
  • Property dimensions
  • Insulation and wall construction
  • Doors and windows
  • Amount of open fireplaces
  • Amount of energy efficient light bulbs present
  • Renewable energy sources used e.g. wind or Solar PV
  • What fuel is used for both space and water heating

Further to this information the current energy costs of the home will be displayed i.e. heating, hot water and lighting.

Attached to the EPC will also be a list of recommendations that will detail possible measures that can be taken up to both reduce heating/lighting

costs and bring down the emissions level of the property. These measures could include:

  • Replacing old lighting systems with new energy efficient models
  • Upgrading the current boiler
  • Having loft/cavity wall insulation fitted
  • Solar PV installation
  • Underground heat pumps
  • Double glazing

These are just a few examples and there are many other possibilities dependant upon the property where savings in energy/costs can be made.

The length and cost of the assessment depends on the size of the property. A domestic assessment takes on average 40 to 45 minutes for a 3 bedroom home, and the average commercial Energy Performance Certificate assessment can take anywhere between 1 and 3 hours. Each involves minimal disruption, and an EPC Certificate will usually be received via email the next working day.

Once the  has been completed the property is then legal to market for sale or rent. Properties that do not have a valid Energy Performance Certificate when put on the market can be liable for fines from Trading Standards if the certificate cannot be produced within seven days. This extends to all parties involved in the sale of the property.

However, as well as adhering to the law, this should not be the only reason to acquire an EPC. An Energy Performance Certificate can be an invaluable document to show the property owner, whether commercial  or domestic. how they can reduce their carbon footprint and in turn, make their property more energy efficient and cost effective to run.

Furthermore, a house with a high EPC rating will arguably sell for more than a house with a low rating. As energy bills are set to increase year after year, buyers will be considering the energy efficiency of the property and how best to combat these increases. They will use the EPC’s as a comparable chart against another property in order to factor costs involved to heat the property. This may not be a deal breaker yet but will definitely have a bigger impact in years to come. Prepare your property from now.

Category: Insurance

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