Firstly, you need to get an EPC as it is a legal requirement. The Buildings Energy Performance Directive 2002 (EPBD) introduced the legal requirement for a valid EPC when a building was being sold, rented or constructed. An EPC is needed before the property can be placed on to the market. The legal requirement for an EPC was introduced to provide an impartial report on the CO₂ emissions a building produces as well as provide independent guidance on how to improve the energy efficiency of a building. This report informs people how high their energy bill will be due to the energy efficiency of the property.
If you wish to sell or rent your property, you need to be able to provide prospective buyers and renters with a valid EPC free of charge when asked. Failure to produce this report may result in a fine. There are a few exemptions where an EPC is not required, such as when the building is listed and properties that have live in landlords.
An EPC is legally valid for ten years. If you have undertaken any of the improvements recommended in the report, it is highly recommended that you receive an updated EPC to reflect the current energy efficiency of the property. This will increase the value of the property and will be reflected in the asking price.
How do I get a Domestic EPC
To get an EPC you need to contact an accredited domestic energy assessor or home inspector. A visit to the property will be arranged to assess the energy efficiency of the home. Collected data is entered into a computer program that runs a calculation on the energy efficiency of the home. The program focuses on the performance of the building not how an individual uses energy to ensure it reflects the buildings’ rating and not the occupant’s.
The factors an assessor examines include:
- The type of property
- The age of the property
- What type of construction it is
- Dimensions of a property
- Room and water heating system
- The types of windows used
- The types of lighting used.
Once this information is recorded it will be entered into the system and calculated. It is important to know everything – such as the walls that have been insulated and how. Without this information, the assessor has to input default values that could lower your energy efficiency.
What information is included in an EPC
The information provided in an EPC includes a performance rating, the estimated cost of running the property, summary of energy performance related features and the list of recommendations.
The Energy Performance of a Property
This section includes three separate measurements – the energy performance, the energy efficiency rating and the environmental impact. The energy performance of the property is measured by energy used per square metre of floor area. The energy efficiency rating is based on the projected fuel cost. The environmental impact is based on the C0₂ emissions.
Each area will have two scores that reflect the current rating and the potential rating if improvements are undertaken.
The Estimated Energy Cost
This section estimates the energy use, the CO₂ emissions and fuel costs of the dwelling using standardised assumptions. This will provide you with an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power your home. The actual cost will deviate from this due to the calculation being based on averages and statistics.
The Summary of Energy Performance Related Features
This section of the EPC indicates the energy efficiency of the specific features of your home. Each feature has a description of the item in question as well as a star rated energy efficiency. The description should include the reasons for the assessor rating – for example, a floor may have a lower rating as the assessor has assumed there is no insulation present, but that assumption is wrong. It’just hard to judge on appearance and there is no documented evidence so they have to assume the worst.
The List of Recommendations
The recommended list of improvements are measures that can be undertaken to move your properties performance closer to its potential performance. The improvements will be listed as descriptions and will also detail the cost of the improvements, the typical savings you can expect per year through the improvement and the increase in the energy performance of the property.
An EPC is not only a legal requirement, but it is also a useful bargaining chip that will allow a vendor or landlord to attain higher prices.