Frequently Asked Questions
What is An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows how energy efficient your property is and what the Environmental Impact is.
The Energy Rating is shown at the top in table format, containing your Address, Rating, Certificate Number and Validity Date. The Energy Rating is graded between “A band and G band”, “A band” being the most energy efficient and “G band” being the worst.
The individual score is shown in a graph format with the Energy Rating and it shows your score as “Current” (as of the date and time of the inspection) and “Potential” (the highest possible score after Recommendations have been completed).
Your property is broken down into Features and their given Descriptions which are Rated from Very Good to Very Poor
The environmental impact section shows your property’s annual CO2 production and its potential production once the Recommendations have been completed. It also lets you know if your property is above or below the national average.
How to improve your energy performance the biggest advantage of an EPC, it lists the Recommendations, how much it typically would cost to make this property improvement and how much it will save you annually.
There are several links on the EPC leading to Help, Tips and Financial Support, all free and useful information.
Finally, it will have the Assessors contact details, their Accreditation Scheme Contact details and the Type of Assessment carried out.
How is your property’s Energy Rating Rated?
The Energy Rating is graded between “A band and G band”, “A band” being the most energy efficient and “G band” being the worst.
The Band Score table
EPC rating A = 92-100 points
EPC rating B = 81-91 points
EPC rating C = 69-80 points
EPC rating D = 55-68 points
EPC rating E = 39-54 points
EPC rating F = 21-38 points
EPC rating G = 1-20 points
How is your property’s Energy Rating Calculated?
The bands are calculated by a qualified Assessor visiting your property who will conduct a non-invasive inspection (visual only, no prodding or poking, lifting or removing of items – it may make a bad situation worse). The assessor will inspect a variety of energy factors within your property to see how energy efficient they are. Factors include looking at any potential for heat loss, through walls, windows and roof. Checking for insulation throughout the property, measuring its thickness’s and depths, quality and fit for purposes. The assessor will record the heating and water systems and inspecting whether you have double-glazing and energy efficient light bulbs. Photographic evidence will be taken of all factors, site notes and floor plans and then all these factors are uploaded to a governmental approved and accredited piece of software. The software has an extensive database and collates all the factors inputted and algorithms calculate your Energy Score. The score is matched with the Band Score Table and this gives you’re your Band.
What is the Primary Energy metric and How is it Calculated?
The Primary Energy metric is designed to give a more complete picture of the total energy used to power a building. “Primary Energy” is energy from a natural source which has not undergone any transformation or conversion process such as fossil fuels or renewables. The energy demand for a property can be converted into Primary Energy by applying Primary Energy Factors to the different fuel sources.
Primary Energy demand for heating is calculated through the following equation: (property energy demand / efficiency of heating technology) x PEF
Primary Energy Factors (PEF) has been pre-calculated within the software for each common fuel type based on upstream production activities needed to get them to market, using projections for 2020 to 2024 (These will be updated for the 2025 Future Homes Standard).
A property’s energy demand for each use (space heating, lighting etc.) is calculated and these are multiplied by the PEF of the fuel type used for each. By adding these together, we get a total Primary Energy demand for the property.
Primary Energy calculation allows any energy generated by onsite renewable technologies, such as photovoltaic (PV) panels, to be subtracted from the overall energy demand.
Property A. is heated with 100% efficient electric panel heaters with an overall heating demand of 10,000 kWh - (10,000 kWh / 1) x 1.501 = 15,010 kWh
Property B. is heated with 100% efficient electric panel heaters with an overall heating demand of 10,000 kWh with an added PV array generating 1,500 kWh - ([10,000 kWh – 1,500 kWh]/1) x 1.501 = 12,759 kWh
How effective is the EPC rating at measuring energy efficiency?
EPC’s were first introduced on 1st August 2007. Since then the process, measuring and software has been regularly improved and updated to make it a robust system. It is not a full proof system, there are still some limitations, 2 identical 5 bedroomed properties, one property has 2 adults and 5 children occupying in it, the other on only has 2 adults. The latter would presumably use less energy annually, the system can only calculate upon averages and measures floor area rather than occupancy. Therefore the estimated yearly energy costs and savings would be the same for both properties but both would be slightly wrong, hence the word estimated.
Why predicted savings may not be achievable?
Similar to occupancy levels, the co2 saving will be accurate for 2 properties but one will save more than the other because we are all not on a standardised tariffs, every household has a different tariff and different usage habits, one may work shift work, then the typical use is used at different times of the day.
How do I Improve my Properties Energy Performance?
An EPC Software will calculate your Properties Energy Performance, not only will it band it, it will calculate how you can maximise your Energy Performance. This is shown in Recommendations. All improvements are listed with a typical installation cost and a typical annual saving.
Completing the recommendations listed will maximise your properties potential, but the typical yearly savings may make the recommendations unviable. The golden rule is: if your total annual savings over 25 years is greater than the typical installation cost then the cost of the expenditure is viable.
Are there Different Types of EPC?
No, there is only one type of EPC, but there are two different methodologies (software calculation methods) used to calculate your EPC, Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) methodology and Reduced data Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP) methodology.
Do I Need a SAP or a RdSAP Assessment?
Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) methodology is required for New Build Dwellings, Conversions, Some Extensions and the Change of Use of a Property (family home to a HMO)
Reduced data Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP) methodology is for existing dwellings only.
Am I Legally Required to get an EPC?
No, anyone can have an EPC on a property at anytime as a matter of interest.
It is legally required to have an EPC whenever a property is Built, if you wish to Market the Property to the Sales Market or every time you rent out your property.
How Long is an EPC Valid for?
An EPC is valid for 10 years. Each EPC has a validity date, which will tell you when this certificate runs out.
Do I have to wait until my EPC expires before I Renew it?
No, you can renew your EPC at any time. I recommend after all the major recommendation changes have been completed that you do actually renew it.
Do all Properties Require an EPC?
No, not all properties need an EPC, there are some exceptions:
Places of worship
Temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
Stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50 square meters
Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that do not use a lot of energy
Buildings that are due to be demolished
Holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
Listed buildings - you should get advice from your local authority conservation officer if the work would alter the building’s character
Residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
How to get an EPC?
You will need to find an accredited assessor, commonly known as Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) to perform the assessment on your property. They will assess your property and produce the certificate. Getting a new energy certificate https://getting-new-energy-certificate.service.gov.uk/find-an-assessor/type-of-domestic-property
Are Energy Assessors Monitored?
Yes, all energy assessors have to be members of an Accreditation Scheme who are responsible for managing, monitoring and auditing assessors. To become a member of an accreditation scheme, the energy assessor must demonstrate their competence by having a qualification from an awarding body. They must maintain appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover to protect the property and general public. The assessor has to continually update their skills and knowledge and to participate in the accreditation scheme quality assurance procedures. Finally they must abide by the accredited scheme advice and guidance.
How Can I Check if an EPC is Real?
Only an EPC generated from data lodged on the register and allocated a unique reference
number is authentic. The register helps to protect the consumer. Any party holding a copy
of an EPC can verify its authenticity by comparing the paper copies against the copies
held on the register.
An EPC can be downloaded from the register web site https://www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate
using the unique reference number or by using the full postcode of the building or a combination of the name of the street and post town in which the building is located (although this will bring up a selection of postcodes for that street).
What is the Report Reference Number (RRN) on an EPC Certificate?
The Report Reference Number (RRN) is the unique number for your certificate, and it can be used to search on the EPC register to ensure that the certificate is authentic. The Report Reference Number (RRN) takes the form of 5 4-digit numbers, each separated by hyphens.
I am not Happy with my EPC Rating or its Recommendations, Can I Complain?
Yes, you can, complaints regarding the quality and accuracy of the EPC contact the energy assessor in the first instance.
If the matter cannot be resolved, contact the accreditation scheme of the energy assessor who
produced the EPC. Contact details of both the assessor and accreditation scheme can be found on the EPC.
I was Charged for a Free EPC offer, Who Do I Complain To?
If a free EPC was offered by your Estate Agent with the Sale of your Property and you have found you have been charged for it in your Fees Breakdown, you must first complain to the Estate Agent.
If the matter cannot be resolved, contact your Local Weights and Measures Authority / Trading Standards. You will need a copy of the advertisement and the Estate Agents correspondence.
How Long Does it Take to Get an EPC?
EPC Certificates are usually calculated and produced by the end of the next working day.
The On-site Inspection should take roughly an Hour and no more than 2 Hours to Inspect and Document your property.
A building means a “construction” of any material, consisting of walls and a roof, which is contained. The building has an energy source which is used to change the indoor climate.
A building unit means a section or floor within a building. Prime example is an apartment that has been designed or altered to be used as a separate private building within a building.
A stand-alone building is defined as a building that is, entirely detached from any other building.
The total useful floor area is the total gross floor area of all enclosed spaces, measured to the internal face of the external walls, in accordance with the guidance issued by RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).
The Usable area of sloping surfaces such as staircases, galleries, raked auditoriums, and tiered terraces should be recorded areas and Unusable areas such as open floors, covered ways and external balconies are to be excluded.
A dwelling means a habitable place or shelter for people to live in. A self-contained unit designed to provide living accommodation for a single household with an unshared kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Standard assessment procedure (SAP) is the government approved methodology for the energy assessment of dwellings. Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) methodology is required for New Build Dwellings, Conversions, Some Extensions and the Change of Use of a Property (family home to a HMO)
It is used to demonstrate compliance for dwellings with Part L of the current Building Regulations in England and Wales. A full standard assessment procedure assessment requires details about a building that cannot be seen in a survey once the building is complete, like the construction of a cavity wall. Several surveys are taken throughout the construction process to see how and what products are used.
Reduced data standard assessment procedure (RdSAP) is developed by the government and is the approved methodology for the energy assessment of existing dwellings only. The RdSAP methodology is an agreed industry standard software used to produce the energy report and Energy Performance Certificate. It considers and calculates the missing details which cannot be seen with the naked eye, like the inside of a wall. Only one site visit is required.