It is a legal requirement for all domestic properties in the UK to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in location before a property is sold or rented out.
All EPCs should be issued by an accredited Energy Assessor.
This write-up describes what the Energy Assessor is looking at when they carry out an EPC inspection, and at what simple measures you can take to ensure your property gets the very best feasible rating.
In an EPC survey the Surveyor / Energy Assessor will probably be looking at 5 primary elements as follows:
- How the property is constructed
- How the space is heated
- How the water is heated
- How the property is lighted
- What ventilation systems are in place
The Energy Assessor will collect data about all these elements; this data will then be fed into a piece of pc software program which will generate the EPC. The methodology utilized by the software program to produce the EPC is the Decreased Information Regular Assessment Procedure (RDSAP). RDSAP is a simplified version of the much more rigorous Regular Assessment Procedure (SAP) which, together with the Simplified Creating Energy Model (SBEM) is utilized for producing commercial and new build EPC. The simplified RDSAP methodology was chosen for domestic EPC production simply because the complexity of the other two methodologies outcomes in the surveys costing much more to produce, some thing which was considered to be acceptable for the commercial marketplace but not for domestic properties.
At CommercialEPC.eu, we have access to both RDSAP in addition to SAP methodologies as we carry out both Domestic and Commercial EPC work.
The RDSAP process entails the software program making a series of assumptions in location of gathered data. This makes domestic EPC simpler and quicker to produce, reducing the price for landlords / vendors and consequently helping to improve compliance. This is all nicely and good, but does come at a price, as the use of assumption in location of gathered data can result in some properties becoming given an arbitrary energy rating that does not properly reflect the buildings performance.
Nevertheless, Commercial properties are much more complex by nature. There may be various parts of the property becoming utilized for various purpose. Different parts of the same property may have various heating requirements. And so on. And an Energy Assessor requirements to invest much more time examining the property in addition to finding its history.
On leading of the EPC software program making assumptions the Energy Assessor may have to make some assumptions themselves when carrying out an EPC survey. When this occurs they’re obliged to always assume the worst; for example when a light fitting is found to be empty they will always have to assume that when the bulb is replaced it will be with an incandescent bulb rather than a low energy one.
You will find several low price measures the owner of a property can take to ensure that their creating gets the very best energy rating feasible.
The very first and most essential factor to do is to make sure that the assessor can get access to all of the parts of the property they have to inspect in the EPC survey, as any assumptions they’re forced to create are likely to result in a worse EPC rating. For example if it’s not feasible for the assessor to access the loft area, either simply because the hatch is locked or access through under eves storage cupboards is blocked by stuff, then the assessor will have to assume no insulation is present. The same applies for the hot water cylinder, if the Energy Assessor cannot open the cupboard to see the cylinder then it will be assumed it has no insulation.
Have documentation ready:
If your property, or any component of it has been converted since 1996 then the Energy Assessor will probably be able to enter the date of conversion as the construction date for that element in the EPC, but only in the event you can show them the creating regulations sign off sheet, otherwise the construction date will probably be entered as the same as the primary buildings original construction date, resulting in a worse EPC rating.
Insulate your water tank:
As component of the EPC inspection the Energy Assessor will take a look at how nicely insulated your hot water tank is. Most tanks have 25mm of foam insulation or a jacket. Hot water cylinder jackets are inexpensive to buy, and adding an extra one, or putting one on over the foam insulation will make a noticeable distinction to your EPC rating.
Remove portable heaters:
If whilst carrying out the EPC inspection the assessor finds any portable electric or propane heaters in the property then they will be entered as a secondary heating technique. In most instances this may result in your property getting a lower energy rating, as they’re likely to be a less efficient means of heating than your properties primary heat source. In the event you remove these heaters then only the primary heart source will probably be taken into consideration.
Change coal for wood:
When you have a fire location in your property then this may be entered in the EPC as either a coal or a wood heater. The Energy Assessor will make an assumption about what you burn in the fire based on what they see at the time of the inspection. If there’s no visual evidence as to what fuel you use they will be forced to assume it’s coal, as this gives a worse rating than using wood. It is consequently advisable to remove your coal scuttle, and replace it having a wood basket.
Block up unused flues:
Any open flue will result in a lower EPC rating, as they will be letting the heat rise out of your property. It is consequently advisable to block off any unused flues. This may be as simple as stuffing some spare loft insulation up there.
Low Energy Bulbs:
When you have any light fittings with missing bulbs then fit them with low energy light bulbs. It is not suggested to go around replacing all of your incandescent bulbs with low energy units, but rather just to replace them as the old ones burn out. Whilst low energy bulbs do have an effect on the EPC rating, it’s only a small one. For example, changing all of the bulbs in a four bedroom hose from incandescent would make about a 2% distinction to the properties EPC rating. Whilst this is only a small improvement, it’s feasible that it could make the distinction to your rating if you’re on the borderline between, for example, an E or a D rating.
Obviously there are lots of much more expensive measures you could take to enhance your EPC rating, such as replacing your boiler having a band A boiler, growing your loft insulation and filling your cavity walls. Nevertheless in the event you follow the above guidance then you will have done everything feasible to cheaply and easily enhance your EPC rating before the Energy Assessor visits