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Advice & information on EPCs

We are also growing our services and this website to include advice and guidance to property owners seeking to navigate the often complex process of making their buildings more energy efficient and healthier.

We have not started to release this data yet but please keep an eye on our website or send us an enquiry via the details on our contact page.

Domestic Energy Performance Certificates

Domestic buildings are those properties exclusively used for residential purposes by individuals or families in self-contained accommodation. They may (in limited circumstances) also include houses in multiple occupation but exclude residential care and nursing homes). 

There is a legal requirement for EPCs to be provided on the sale, letting or construction of residential property (dwellings).

Domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are a rating scheme to summarise the energy efficiency of dwellings. The building is given a rating between A (Very efficient) РG (Very inefficient), and will also include tips about the most cost effective ways to improve your home’s energy rating. Energy Performance Certificates are used in many countries.

For domestic (residential) properties this is a cost metric, allowing owners, landlords, tenants and purchasers to compare different properties in terms of running costs. The methodology assumes a standard number of occupants based on the size of the property and a pre-set number of hours per day for use of heating so the results may not be accurate for every user; they make no allowance for the particular preferences of the current occupier or their energy consumption (for example, a professional couple living in a large house may not use the same energy as say, a family of four living in a small flat). 

The comparison between properties of similar size and age however still remains valid. 

The A to G scale

Energy Performance Certificates present the energy efficiency of dwellings on a scale of A to G. The most efficient homes ‚Äď which should have the lowest fuel bills ‚Äď are in band A. The certificate uses the same scale to define the impact a home has on the environment. Better-rated homes should have less impact through¬†carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The average property in the UK in 2023 is in band D.¬†

EPC recommendations

The certificate includes recommendations on ways to improve the home’s energy efficiency to save money.¬† The recommendations may appear general in tone, but they are bespoke to the actual property. EPC recommendations are cost effective in improving the¬†energy efficiency¬†of the home, but also include more expensive options (described as ‘further measures’) which are less cost effective in the short term.¬†

The EPC gives a recommended value of the potential of each identified improvement. There are similar figures for environmental impact. A table of estimated annual energy bills (and the potential for improvement) is also presented, but without any reference to actual householder bills. 

Exempt properties

A limited number of properties are exempt from needing an EPC under the Housing Act 2004:

  • Unsafe properties, a property that poses a serious health and safety risk to occupants or visitors
  • Properties to be demolished, properties that are due to be demolished where the marketing of the property, all the relevant documents and planning permission exists.
  • Listed buildings¬†
  • Residential buildings with use of less than 4 months per year¬†
 

The possible exemption of listed buildings has always been a contentious issue. As a devolved issue, no exemption of listed buildings exists under the Scottish Regulations. In England & Wales, listed buildings are only exempt¬†“…in so far as compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance.”¬†The only way to determine whether an EPC will have recommendations that would unacceptably alter the appearance or character of the listed dwelling is lodge an EPC and find out.¬†

Procedure

The energy assessment needed to produce a domestic EPC must be carried out by a qualified domestic energy assessor, registered with an approved accreditation body. The UK Government has set up a publicly accessible central register of Assessors.

The Assessor will visit the property, and examine key items such as wall, floor and loft construction, windows and doors, the heating and hot water installations including controls, etc.. The exercise is entirely non-invasive (visual only). Once back in the office, the Assessor inputs the observations into a software program which performs the calculation of energy efficiency.  

The calculation of the energy rating on the EPC is based on the UK Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). Existing dwellings are assessed using Reduced Data SAP (RdSAP), a simplified version of the full SAP methodology that requires fewer data inputs. The Assessor  cannot drill walls or ceilings to determine the state or even existence of any insulation, but will either:

  • assume the worst (‘as built’ to¬†Building Regulations¬†for the dwelling’s age) or¬†
  • rely on the householder to produce documentary evidence on what may have been installed.¬†
 

This can produce uncertainty about the validity of the output from the assessor’s analysis. The software makes assumptions on the insulation properties of various elements of the property based on age and construction type. The assessor has the ability to over-ride these assumptions if visual or written evidence is provided to support the presence of insulation which may have been subsequently installed.

The accuracy of the recommendations will depend on the inspection standards applied by the assessor. All registered Assessors are audited by their accreditation bodies in order to maintain standards. An MEP Assessor has a high level of skills, maintained by regular CPD training which frequently exceeds the minimum requirement of their accreditation body and usually provides advice and guidance not generally offered by others.  

The householder will have to pay for the survey, which costs around £75 Р£100 for a typical four-bedroom house. 

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This database is FREE for you to use ‚Äď and when you choose an MEP assessor you‚Äôll know you‚Äôre dealing with a professional providing a fast, efficient and reliable service. That‚Äôs why MEP assessors are respected by some of the largest energy efficiency organisations in the UK.