Updated: Apr 15, 2020
An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) provides an energy efficiency rating for a building based on the potential energy performance and running costs of the property. The rating takes into account both the fabric of the building and its services, such as: heating, insulation ventilation and fuels used. An EPC also contains recommendations on how the energy performance of the building can be improved to reduce running costs.
EPCs are issued with ratings from “A” to “G”, with “A” signaling top energy performance.
New regulations were placed on the market in 2019 that make it compulsory for landlords to obtain an EPC rate higher than E on all residential rental properties. Once a certificate is produced, it is valid for ten years, and will only need to be updated earlier if you’ve made improvements to the property which could raise the rating.
If your property receives anything below an “E”-rating, you will need to make adjustments to ensure the property meets certain legal standards.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, but these will only apply in a small number of cases.
The following is a brief summary of exempt cases:
· Property Devaluation Exemption:The required improvements will either cause damage or reduce the value of the property by 5% or more.
· “Consent” Exemption:
It is not possible to gain the consent for the works to be completed required from the tenant, lender or superior landlord.
· “High Cost” Exemption:The identified improvement measures are not cost-effective, either within a seven year payback, or under the Green Deal’s Golden Rule.
If any of these apply to your property, you can register for an exemption on the central registry and receive written confirmation from the clerk’s office that you have made a best effort to comply with the regulations/laws.
What assessors look for when they take an EPC
When the assessor visits your property there are many things that they evaluate to generate
an EPC, but the main factors and variables considered are:
· The asset rating for the building (which is a measure of building quality: T
he higher the rating the worse the building is)
· A reference value (ie. a benchmark);
· An estimate of the building’s total useful floor area;
· Age of the property (a property built in the Victorian Age is more likely to be less energy efficient than a more modern building due to the fact of the improved building standards over the years)
· Orientation of property (an apartment that is “sandwiched” in between two units upstairs and downstairs will be more prone to be more energy efficient than a ground floor flat -the more walls that are exposed to outside the less energy efficient the property will be )
· Type of Boiler (a modern A class boiler will of course be more energy efficient than an old
· Loft Insulation (This is one of the most cost effettive way to improve the efficiency of the property)
· Type of Windows (A double or triple glazed window will be of course more efficient than a single glazed one)
· A recommendation report, unless there is no reasonable potential for energy performance improvements;
Whether you are going through an Agency or doing it yourself, there are things that you need to consider. MAKE SURE that the selected assessors are fully qualified to do EPCs – this is particularly important if you are allowing an estate agency or other third party to set up the EPC for you.
The main qualities that the assessor should have are:
· Demonstrate their competence by either having a recognised qualification from an awarding body or approved prior experience and learning equivalent to national occupational standard requirements;
· Maintain appropriate professional indemnity cover;
· Update their skills and knowledge regularly;
· Participate in the accreditation scheme quality assurance procedures;
· Abide by the accredited scheme advice and guidance.
By Alex Smith & Matteo Donna