It’s a legal requirement for all domestic properties in the UK to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place before a property is sold or rented out.
All EPCs must be issued by an accredited Energy Assessor.
This article 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 possible rating.
In an EPC survey the Surveyor / Energy Assessor will probably be looking at five main 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 create the EPC. The methodology utilized by the software program to produce the EPC is the Reduced Information Standard Assessment Procedure (RDSAP). RDSAP is really a simplified version of the much more rigorous Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) which, together with the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) is utilized for producing commercial and new develop EPC. The simplified RDSAP methodology was chosen for domestic EPC production because the complexity of the other two methodologies outcomes in the surveys costing much more to produce, some thing which was regarded as 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 creating a series of assumptions in place of gathered data. This makes domestic EPC simpler and quicker to produce, decreasing the price for landlords / vendors and consequently helping to improve compliance. This is all well and great, but does come at a price, as the use of assumption in place of gathered data can result in some properties being given an arbitrary energy rating that does not correctly reflect the buildings performance.
However, Commercial properties are much more complex by nature. There can be different parts of the property being utilized for different purpose. Different parts of the exact same property might have different heating requirements. And so on. And an Energy Assessor requirements to spend much more time examining the property in addition to finding its history.
On top of the EPC software program creating assumptions the Energy Assessor might have to make some assumptions themselves when carrying out an EPC survey. When this occurs they’re obliged to usually assume the worst; for instance when a light fitting is discovered to be empty they will usually have to assume that when the bulb is replaced it’ll be with an incandescent bulb rather than a low energy one.
There are a number of low price measures the owner of a property can take to ensure that their creating gets the very best energy rating possible.
The first and most essential thing to do is to make certain that the assessor can get access to all the parts of the property they have to inspect in the EPC survey, as any assumptions they’re forced to make are likely to result in a worse EPC rating. For instance if it is not possible for the assessor to access the loft region, either because the hatch is locked or access via under eves storage cupboards is blocked by stuff, then the assessor will have to assume no insulation is present. The exact same applies for the hot water cylinder, if the Energy Assessor can’t open the cupboard to see the cylinder then it’ll be assumed it has no insulation.
Have documentation ready:
If your property, or any component of it has been converted because 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 exact same as the main 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 well 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 cases this may result in your property obtaining a lower energy rating, as they’re likely to be a much less effective means of heating than your properties primary heat source. If you eliminate these heaters then only the primary heart source will probably be taken into consideration.
Change coal for wood:
When you have a fire place 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 is coal, as this gives a worse rating than using wood. It’s consequently advisable to eliminate 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’s consequently advisable to block off any unused flues. This can 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’s 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 is only a little one. For instance, changing all 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 little improvement, it is possible that it could make the distinction to your rating if you’re on the borderline between, for instance, an E or a D rating.
Clearly there are many much more costly 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. However in the event you follow the above guidance then you’ll have carried out every thing possible to cheaply and easily enhance your EPC rating before the Energy Assessor visits