It is a legal requirement for all domestic properties within the UK to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place prior to a property is sold or rented out.
All EPCs should 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 make sure your property gets the very best feasible rating.
In an EPC survey the Surveyor / Energy Assessor will be looking at five 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 information about all these elements; this information will then be fed into a piece of computer software which will create the EPC. The methodology used by the software to create the EPC is the Decreased Information Standard Assessment Process (RDSAP). RDSAP is really a simplified version of the much more rigorous Standard Assessment Process (SAP) which, together 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 because the complexity of the other two methodologies outcomes within the surveys costing a lot more to create, 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 making a series of assumptions in place of gathered information. This makes domestic EPC simpler and quicker to create, decreasing the price for landlords / vendors and therefore helping to increase compliance. This is all well and good, but does come at a price, as the use of assumption in place of gathered information can result in some properties becoming given an arbitrary energy rating that does not correctly reflect the buildings performance.
Nevertheless, Commercial properties are much more complex by nature. There may 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 needs to spend much more time examining the property in addition to discovering its history.
On leading of the EPC software making assumptions the Energy Assessor might need to make some assumptions themselves when carrying out an EPC survey. When this occurs they’re 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 several low price measures the owner of a property can take to make sure that their building gets the very best energy rating feasible.
The very first and most important thing to do is to make certain 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’re forced to make are likely to result in a worse EPC rating. For instance if it is not feasible for the assessor to access the loft area, either 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 because 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 building regulations sign off sheet, otherwise the construction date will be entered as the exact 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 well insulated your hot water tank is. Most tanks have 25mm of foam insulation or a jacket. Hot water cylinder jackets are cheap to buy, and adding an additional 1, or putting 1 on over the foam insulation will make a noticeable difference 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 technique. In most instances this will result inside your property getting a lower energy rating, as they’re likely to be a less effective indicates 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:
When you have a fire place 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 is therefore advisable to remove your coal scuttle, and replace it with 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 therefore 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 is only a little 1. For instance, changing all the bulbs in a four bedroom hose from incandescent would make about a 2% difference to the properties EPC rating. Whilst this is only a little improvement, it is feasible that it could make the difference to your rating if you’re on the borderline between, for instance, an E or a D rating.
Clearly there are lots of much more expensive measures you could take to improve your EPC rating, like replacing your boiler with a band A boiler, increasing your loft insulation and filling your cavity walls. Nevertheless in the event you follow the above advice then you will have done every thing feasible to cheaply and effortlessly improve your EPC rating prior to the Energy Assessor visits