Domestic EPC

All domestic and commercial buildings in the UK available to buy or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If you own a home, getting an energy performance survey done could help you identify ways to save money on your energy bills and improve the comfort of your home.

What are EPCs?

Energy Performance CertificateMuch like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). EPCs let the person who will use the building know how costly it will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.

The EPC will also state what the energy-efficiency rating could be if improvements are made, and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating. Even if you rent your home, some improvements noted on the EPC may be worth implementing, such as switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs.

EPCs are valid for 10 years from when issued.

What are EPCs?

Your property's EPC needs to be available to potential buyers as soon as you start to market your property for sale or rent.You must get an approved Domestic Energy Assessor to produce the EPC.

If you implement any of the energy efficiency recommendations outlined in your EPC, you may wish to get a fresh EPC done to include these improvements.

What does an Energy Performance Certificate EPC survey involve?

Step 1: A qualified and accredited Domestic Energy Assessor visits your property to do the EPC survey, which takes between 20 and 60 minutes. The assessor will take notes of the following:

• Size of your living space

• Construction of your house

• Any insulation

• Lighting

• Heating system and controls

Based on this information, the EPC shows you how good- or bad- your property’s energy efficiency is. It rates your property’s energy efficiency from A to G, with A as ‘Very Efficient’ and G as ‘Not Very Efficient'.

Step 2: The assessor needs access to every room in the property. He counts is the number of light fittings you have, and the number of low energy light bulbs you use. Low Energy light bulbs are the CFT or LED type or normal florescent tube sort. Only fixed fittings are included in the EPC survey.

Step 3: The assessor carries out a head and shoulder inspection of your loft space if this is possible. This is to check how much loft insulation is present and where it is located, either laid on the joists or affixed to the rafters. The current recommendation is to have 270mm of loft insulation laid at the joists. Whilst in the loft we also try to establish what type of wall divides the property from next door. All Energicert assessors carry their own surveyor’s ladders, so you don’t need to provide it.

Step 4: The assessor makes a visual inspection of the windows to find out if it is single, double, triple or has secondary glazing. If there is double-glazing, he checks if it was installed before or after 2002. If you have a FENSA certificate or BFRC data to hand, he will take this as evidence. In certain circumstances, we also check the thickness of the gap in double glazed units. If your property has a conservatory, he will also inspect this and take details.

Step 5: The largest parts of the calculation for the EPC is your property’s heating system. If you have one or more boilers, it is useful to have the handbook for that particular model to hand for the assessor. The assessor takes note of the time and heat controls. If you have one or more room thermostats, he also notes this, as well as any thermostatic radiator valves fitted in your house. He also records any other form of heating such as coal, log, or gas coal-effect fire.

Step 6: During the EPC survey, the assessor takes photographs of the various elements that have been surveyed and some photographs of the outside of your property.

Each month a number of the surveys are called in for audit by the accreditation bodies to ensure that a high standard of survey is maintained and we need photographs for this purpose.

Step 7: During the EPC survey, the assessor takes a number of measurements including the height of the main rooms on each floor and the dimensions of your property.

Before leaving, the assessor sketches a plan of your property noting any extensions, alterations, and measurements.

After what seemed to be an eternity of uncertainty, the 2018 EPC regulation changes have been finalised by the Department for Energy &amp; Climate Change.<br><br>
These changes will mean that it will be unlawful to let or lease a residential or commercial property with a poor EPC rating. Here are 7 things you need to know about the changes.

  1. THE REGULATIONS SURROUNDING THE ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE ARE CHANGING FROM 1 APRIL 2018.

    This has been a long standing concern of the industry with uncertainty amongst agents, landlords, tenants and energy assessors as to when these changes would come into effect and just what the implications of these changes would mean for all of those involved.

  2. BOTH COMMERCIAL EPCS AND RESIDENTIAL EPCS WILL BE AFFECTED WITHIN THE PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR.

    As expected, these new minimum energy efficiency requirements will apply to both the domestic and non-domestic sides of the PRS meaning that whether a landlord is letting out a commercial property or a house to a tenant, it could be unlawful to do so should the building not meet these new minimum EPC requirements.

  3. THE MINIMUM ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARD FOR NON-DOMESTIC (COMMERCIAL) BUILDINGS WILL BE SET AT AN E EPC RATING.
    It is our understanding that this new rating will be based on C02 emissions for commercial property, this is the EPC graph displayed on the first page of the commercial energy efficiency certificate. Read the official DECC Government report for Non-Domestic buildings here.
  4. THE MINIMUM ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARD FOR DOMESTIC DWELLINGS WILL BE SET AT AN E EPC RATING.

    It is our understanding that this new rating will be based on Fuel costs rather than C02 emissions for domestic property. This is the EPC graph displayed on the first page of the energy certificate. Read the official DECC Government report for Domestic dwellings here.

  5. THE EPC REGULATION CHANGES ARE MAINLY ABOUT THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATING OF BUILDINGS AND MEAN THAT A RATING OF F OR G COULD POTENTIALLY CAUSE PROBLEMS.

    Potential issues could arise after 1 April 2018 when trying to let a house/flat or renew a commercial lease with an EPC rating worse than an E.
    For the period Q1 2008 – Q1 2015, 35% of Non-Domestic buildings which had an EPC survey carried out were achieving an E, F, or G rating. For the same period, 26% of Domestic properties achieved an E, F or G rating. This official Government data suggests that a significant proportion of the UK building stock could be affected by the new energy performance regulations.

  6. THESE NEW MINIMUM ENERGY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS (MEPS) WERE RELEASED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE (DECC) ON 22 JULY 2014 AND CONFIRMED BY THE GOVERNMENT ON 5 FEBRUARY 2015.

    The Government considered the views of a variety of individuals and organisations across England and Wales on the issues surrounding EPCs before deciding on the details of the new regulations which are designed to help the Government meet their obligations set out in the Energy Act 2011 to improve the energy efficiency of property within the privately rented sector.

  7. THE NEW EPC REGULATIONS WILL COME IN TO FORCE FROM 1 APRIL 2018 AND WILL REQUIRE ELIGIBLE PROPERTIES TO BE IMPROVED TO A SPECIFIED MINIMUM STANDARD.

    The new regulations apply to Non-domestic property, defined by the Energy Act 2011 as any property let on a tenancy, which is not a dwelling. All commercial property types from A1 – D2 usage class are in scope of the regulations, with the exception of those excluded from existing Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations.
    The regulations apply to Domestic property, defined in section 42 of the Energy Act 2011 as properties let under an assured tenancy for the purposes of the Housing Act 1998, or a tenancy which is a regulated tenancy for the purposes of the Rent Act 1977. There are also however, some exceptions where a domestic property would be exempt from requiring an EPC.

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