It’s a legal requirement for all domestic properties within the UK to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in location prior to a property is sold or rented out.
All EPCs must 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 easy measures you are able to take to make sure your property gets the very best possible rating.
In an EPC survey the Surveyor / Energy Assessor will be looking at 5 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 used by the software program to produce the EPC is the Decreased Data Regular Assessment Process (RDSAP). RDSAP is really a simplified version of the much more rigorous Regular Assessment Process (SAP) which, along with the Simplified Creating Energy Model (SBEM) is used for producing commercial and new develop EPC. The simplified RDSAP methodology was chosen for domestic EPC production simply because the complexity of the other two methodologies outcomes within the surveys costing a lot more to produce, something which was considered to be acceptable for the commercial market but not for domestic properties.
At CommercialEPC.eu, we have access to both RDSAP as well as 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 great, 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 doesn’t properly reflect the buildings performance.
Nevertheless, Commercial properties are much more complex by nature. There can be various parts of the property becoming used for various purpose. Various parts of the exact same property might have various heating requirements. And so on. And an Energy Assessor requirements to invest much more time examining the property as well as discovering its history.
On top of the EPC software program making assumptions the Energy Assessor might need to make some assumptions themselves when carrying out an EPC survey. When this happens they are obliged to always assume the worst; for instance when a light fitting is found to be empty they will always need to assume that when the bulb is replaced it will be with an incandescent bulb instead of a low energy 1.
There are a number of low price measures the owner of a property can take to make sure that their creating gets the very best energy rating possible.
The very first and most important thing to do is to make sure that the assessor can get access to all the parts of the property they need to inspect within the EPC survey, as any assumptions they are forced to make are likely to result in a worse EPC rating. For example if it is not possible for the assessor to access the loft region, either simply because the hatch is locked or access through under eves storage cupboards is blocked by stuff, then the assessor will need 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 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 be able to enter the date of conversion as the construction date for that element within the EPC, but only in the event you can show them the creating regulations sign off sheet, otherwise the construction date will 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 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 1, or putting 1 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 within the property then they will be entered as a secondary heating method. In most cases this will result inside your property getting a lower energy rating, as they are likely to be a less effective means of heating than your properties primary heat source. If you remove these heaters then only the primary heart source will be taken into consideration.
Change coal for wood:
If you have a fire location inside your property then this will be entered within the EPC as either a coal or a wood heater. The Energy Assessor will make an assumption about what you burn within the fire based on what they see at the time of the inspection. If there is 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 utilizing wood. It’s 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’s consequently advisable to block off any unused flues. This can be as easy as stuffing some spare loft insulation up there.
Low Energy Bulbs:
If you have any light fittings with missing bulbs then fit them with low energy light bulbs. It’s not recommended 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 small 1. For example, 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 small 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.
Obviously there are lots of much more expensive measures you could take to improve your EPC rating, such as replacing your boiler having a band A boiler, increasing your loft insulation and filling your cavity walls. Nevertheless in the event you follow the above advice then you’ll have done everything possible to cheaply and easily improve your EPC rating prior to the Energy Assessor visits