What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) indicates the energy efficiency of a property.

Energy performance is evaluated using a scale from zero to 100 and is separated into bands ranging from A to G (A being the best; G being the worst).

You’ve probably seen something similar on the side of lightbulb packaging or on your washing machine.

The average EPC rating for properties across the UK is a D.

Brighton and Hove Energy Services Blog - Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard MEES EPC Table
A typical rating as detailed from an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Why do you need an EPC?

All domestic and commercial buildings in the UK are required to have an EPC for the purposes of renting or selling a property.

In April 2018, new ‘Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards’ made it a violation to issue a new rental tenancy for any property that has an EPC of F or G. From April 2020 this regulation will apply to all tenancies whether new or existing.  

Landlords who fail to make the necessary improvements to their properties will be subject to the fines of up to £5,000 for domestic dwellings and up to £150,000 for non-domestic properties. 

If you have had energy efficiency improvements made to the property since the previous EPC was issued then you should request a new evaluation to be completed to reflect the improved performance.

How do you get a new EPC?

If you require a new EPC you will need to ask a certified Energy Assessor to survey your property in person.

An energy assessor will require access to all rooms in the property as well as the loft. They must also inspect heating systems and heating controls and take measurements and photographs as evidence for all the key data that is included in the survey.

An energy assessment survey is a visual inspection only and does not require any invasive methods such as drilling into walls. The presence of things like cavity wall insulation can be determined from ‘tell tale’ signs such as covered over drill holes or previous documentary evidence. 

The length of time taken to complete an energy survey varies depending on the size of a property – obviously larger properties take longer to analyse.

Following the survey an energy assessor will compile the information into a report which is lodged digitally on a central register.

Who can issue an EPC?

EPCs can only be issued by qualified assessors. For households this is a Domestic Energy Assessor, and for commercial properties would require a Non-Domestic Energy Assessor.

You can find a list of approved Domestic Energy Assessors on the national Energy Assessor database .

BHESCo’s in-house Domestic Energy Assessor is Tim Beecher who received his accreditation from Elmhurst Energy.

What is included in an EPC?

In addition to providing an overall score for the energy performance of your property, and EPC will identify where improvements can be made to improve energy efficiency.

An EPC includes an analysis of all aspects of a property, including walls, roofing, windows, lighting, and heating and hot water systems. Estimates are provided as to the annual running cost for the home, as well as recommendations on how the homeowner could make changes to improve the EPC and reduce running costs.

For example an EPC might suggest replacing single glazed windows with double glazed windows, and will provide an estimate of how much this change would be expected to save the homeowner each year.

An example of improvements detailed in an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

There may also be recommendations that can be implemented even if you rent your home, such as switching the lightbulbs to energy saving LEDs.

In addition to energy performance an EPC will also include an Environmental Impact Rating which measures how environmentally friendly (or not) a property is and how much carbon dioxide is likely to be produced each year.

Energy Performance Certificates last for ten years, after which time they must be replaced.

Find out if your home has an EPC using the online public register: http://epcregister.com/

Other types of Energy Performance Cirtificates

Some types of building require a different type of energy efficiency certification to a regular EPC.

Public sector buildings are required to hold a valid Display Energy Certificate (DEC). If the building has a total useful floor area of over 1,000 square meters then the DEC must be updated annually.

Newly constructed buildings and dwellings that have been created by a conversion or change of use are required to undergo a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) calculation. This determines the energy performance of the property and must be compliant with national and local authority regulations before any building work can begin.

Next Steps

If you are interested in getting an EPC done or if you have any further questions about the process or cost then please give us a call on 0800 999 6671.


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