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What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) tell you how energy efficient a home is on a scale of A-G. The most energy efficient homes - which should have the lowest fuel bills - are in band A.

The Energy Performance Certificate also tells you, on a scale of A-G, about the impact the home has on the environment. Better-rated homes should have less impact through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The average property in the UK is in bands D-E for both ratings. The Certificate includes recommendations on ways to improve the home's energy efficiency to save you money and help the environment.

Part of the EPC is a recommendation report which will list the potential rating that the property could achieve, if changes were made. The report lists improvements that could be carried out and how this would change the energy and carbon emission rating of the property.

This information can be used to: -

  • cut fuel bills
  • improve energy performance in the property
  • help cut carbon emissions

How long does an EPC last?

An EPC for the rental market has a shelf life of 10 years.

Why an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

The European Union has long been concerned about the energy efficiency of the building situated in its member states. In addition it was concerned about co2 emissions from properties and it's affect on climate change.

In January 2003 the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) was made public.

This directive will have a massive impact for awareness of residential properties or operations of commercial buildings as well as the development of new buildings. The EPC is the way in which the EU directive will be adhered to in the UK.

The main focus of the directive focuses on four main factors:-

  • Minimum requirements for the energy performance of all new buildings.
  • Minimum requirements for the energy performance of large existing buildings subject to majority renovation.
  • Energy certification of all buildings.
  • Regular mandatory inspection of boilers and air conditioning units.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are part of Home Information Packs, which have been in effect since the 1st August 2007 in England and Wales for domestic properties.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are a result of European Union Directive 2002/91/EC relating to the energy performance of buildings. The directive itself was inspired by the Kyoto Protocol which commits the EU to reduce CO2 by 8% by 2010, to 5.2% below 1990 levels. The directive came into force on the 4th January 2006 and requires member states to comply with Article 7 (Energy Performance Certificates), Article 8 (Inspection of boilers) and Article 9 (Inspection of air conditioning systems) within 3 years of the inception date, the deadline being 4th

January 2009.

In the UK this directive was enacted in Part 5 of the Housing Act 2004.

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is based on the RDSAPv3 procedure, which is a simplified version of the SAP2005. SAP is short for Standard Assessment Procedure and RDSAP for Reduced Data SAP. The EPC will be produced by Home Inspectors or Domestic Energy Assessors (DEA) to be included as part of a Home Information Pack (HIP).

In addition to the requirements in relation to dwellings there is also a requirement for Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) on the sale, rent or construction of buildings other than dwellings with a floor area greater than 500m2 from the 6th April 2008.

The domestic energy assessment

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is based upon an assessment of the property carried out by a licensed Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA).

The domestic energy assessment involves: -

  • Establishing the age and construction method of the property.
  • Measuring floor and wall areas of the property.
  • Looking at heating systems including the boiler, heat emmitters and controls.
  • Identifying existing cavity wall and loft insulation.
  • Identifying any alternative heating (e.g. solar) and energy-efficient products (e.g. energy saving light bulbs).

We will collect specific data on the property as outlined by the Government (RdSAP methodology). This data is then used to produce the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

The specific information collected by the domestic energy assessor (DEA) includes:

Heating efficiency

The domestic energy assessor (DEA) will evaluate the boiler or the main heating system:

  • The manufacturer of the boiler.
  • The model if the boiler has a brand name.
  • The type of boiler you have, i.e. whether it is combi, condensing, non-condensing or a back boiler.

We will also look at the heating controls within the system for e.g. the thermostat, timer and radiator valves. This enable us to evaluate the energy efficiency of the combined heating system.

Insulation efficiency

The domestic energy assessor (DEA) will evaluate the types of insulation installed in your property. Existing insulation is measured and compared against current standards:

  • Loft insulation - The average depth of loft insulation is measured.
  • Cavity wall insulation - The existing cavity wall is examined externally, either visually or by looking inside the cavity to determine whether insulation is present.
  • Double glazing - The doors and windows will be checked for double glazing.

The domestic energy assessor (DEA) will all at all times respect your home and answer any questions you may have during the assessment.

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Category: Insurance

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