Providers of Energy Performance Certificates in the South East

Specialists in Domestic and Commercial EPCs

HISTORY & IMPLEMENTATION OF EPCs

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are one of the UK government’s responses to the European Union’s, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).  They are intended to provide potential purchasers or tenants with a rating of energy performance of buildings in which they are interested.  The ratings are standardised so that the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another of a similar type.

It was necessary to train energy assessors to collect data from similar buildings in a similar manner, so as to ensure that the desired comparison of a building’s energy efficiency was possible. This meant that progress towards all buildings being subject to the requirement for an EPC had to be phased in over a period of time.

Since it is the intention to give potential purchasers or tenants information about properties in which they are interested, the requirement for an EPC only occurs when the property is placed on the market for sale or rent.  Tenancy and lease, extensions or renewals do not trigger the requirement.

The implementation started with the sale of four bedroom and larger dwellings at the beginning of August 2007, followed in stages by three bedroom and then the other smaller homes.  New-build homes were included in April 2008.  Large commercial (non-domestic) buildings were introduced into the scheme in April 2008 followed in stages by smaller commercial buildings, until all were included by the beginning of October 2008.  Larger public buildings also had until the beginning of October 2008 to start displaying in public, a Display Energy Certificate (DEC).

At the beginning of October 2008 it became a requirement for self-contained, rented dwellings to have an EPC when re-let or first let.  Now, with very few exceptions, all buildings placed on the market for sale or rent require an EPC.

The final stage of the current programme is the inspection of air conditioning systems.  The first inspection of very large systems had to be completed by the beginning of January 2009 but inspection of smaller units is not mandatory until the beginning of January 2011 at which time all but very small systems will be included.

Information contained in an EPC

EPCs have coloured, horizontal, bar-graphs, to give a clear visual indication of how efficient the building is and also potentially how much it could be improved.  Domestic EPCs also show a theoretical cost for heating, lighting and hot water based on specific temperatures, periods of heating and lighting and theoretical volumes of domestic hot water.  These are strictly theoretical so as to permit comparisons with similar properties.

Recommendations are automatically generated by the central computer to indicate how improvements could be made in the energy performance.  In the case of domestic EPCs these also indicate the potential savings against the theoretical costs of heating, lighting and hot water thus providing a guide as to the cost- effectiveness of those recommendations.

There is no requirement for the recommendations to be carried out but it may be cost-effective to do so.