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The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a European Union (EU) initiative as part of the drive to improve energy efficiency across the EU member countries. The EPC is designed to provide information on two key aspects of the subject property:
1. The energy efficiency of a property.
2. The environmental impact of a property.
The EPC provides a rating of a property’s energy efficiency and displays this as a graph, similar to those found on kitchen appliances. Ratings come on a scale of A-G, with A being the best rating. This means that home owners and occupiers can compare the energy efficiency of different properties as if they were comparing the energy performance of fridges or freezers.
The EPC also includes a recommendation report which lists the potential improvements that can be made to a property in order to:
• Cut fuel costs.
• Improve the energy efficiency of the property.
• Help cut carbon emissions from the property.
The EPC is split into the following four sections:
1. The performance and environmental impact of the property.
2. Estimated energy use based on standard occupancy assumptions.
3. A summary of energy performance features.
4. The recommendations for improving the energy efficiency.
EPCs started to be introduced for selling homes in 2007, but Since 2009, as part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) issued by the EU, all buildings in the UK that are constructed, sold or offered for rent need an EPC.
• An EPC is required whenever a property is marketed.
• The EPC is valid for 10 years.
These apply to all sellers hoping to sell their property and to landlords offering a property for rent.
An EPC can only be produced by a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) or a Home Inspector (HI) who is a member of a approved Government accreditation scheme. The energy assessor will visit the property to determine the energy related features. These are then entered into a computer program which has a calculation model developed by the Government and is known as Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure (RDSAP).
Note: This is not the only type of property energy rating available, but it is the only one valid for the sale and letting of buildings under the EPBD.
RDSAP is a cost-based rating system which uses pre-determined assumptions. It does not look at the appliances, but rather the performance of the building itself in areas such as heating and lighting. In other words, it provides an energy efficiency rating for the property itself rather than an occupancy rating. When collecting the RDSAP data the energy assessor will need to determine the following:
• Property type; House, flat, semi-detached, bungalow etc.
• Age of property.
• Type of construction; Brick cavity walls, stone, timber framed etc.
• Property dimensions (to determine the area and volume of the living space).
• Room and water heating systems (the heating controls are also recorded).
• Insulation levels; Walls, roofs and floors.
• Windows and glazing types (age, size and specification).
• Types of lighting.
This information will be entered into the calculation software and an EPC will be produced.