FAQ

When an Energy Performance Certificate is required?

Please note that Home Information Pack duties were suspended with immediate effect from 21 May 2010. This means that homes marketed for sale on or after this date no longer require a Home Information Pack. However, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are still required.

EPCs present a building's energy efficiency in the form of an 'asset rating'. This is similar to the system used to rate white goods, such as fridges and washing machines.

You must commission an EPC if you wish to sell, rent, construct or refurbish most buildings. EPCs are not required for:

  • Places of worship
  • Temporary buildings with a planned period of use of less than two years
  • Buildings using low amounts of energy, e.g. barns
  • Certain homes which are to be demolished

The EPC must be made available to prospective purchasers/tenants free of charge.

A Predicted Energy Assessment must be provided for new homes marketed for sale off-plan - i.e. before construction of the building is complete. The same EPC responsibilities also apply when a builder completes any building work to a home which creates a new dwelling or combines two existing dwellings.

When selling or renting an existing home, the owner or landlord is responsible for making an EPC available and for providing it to any prospective buyer or tenant.

How long does an EPC last?

Unless a building is later modified, EPCs and their recommendation reports are valid for ten years from the date of issue. Energy assessors are responsible for placing EPCs in the national register of domestic EPCs (landmark), where they will be kept for 20 years.

What does an Energy Performance Certificate consist of?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) provide ratings for all types of buildings, showing their energy efficiency based on many factors such as:

  • The approximate year of construction
  • The size of the property
  • Construction materials- brick, stone, timber
  • Glazing materials- double/single glazed
  • Heating system & controls - Boiler, thermostats, programmer etc
  • Loft insulation
  • Lighting
  • Habitable/inhabitable areas of the property

The ratings are presented in a similar way to those found on white goods, such as fridges and washing machines. They are standardized, so the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another building of a similar type. 'A' is the most efficient rating and 'G' the least efficient.

EPCs include two asset-rating graphs that show:

  • The energy efficiency rating.(left side of the graph) This is the building's overall energy usage, which reflects the level of fuel bills to be expected versus the rating that it could attain if the improvements listed in the recommendation report were carried out.
  • The environmental rating. (Right side of the graph) ie the building's impact on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. This also shows how environmentally friendly a building is and its potential for improvement.

They also provide:

  • The EPC number and date of issue - the energy assessor will obtain this number when they file the EPC in the online register
  • Details of the energy assessor responsible for the EPC, including their name, accreditation number, employer's name (or any trading name if self-employed) and accreditation scheme
  • Information on how to complain or check whether an EPC is genuine, our energy assesors id number is ELM 852, this can be seen on www.epcreg.co.uk
Recommendation reports

The energy assessor's recommendation report includes:

  • Important cost-effective ways to improve the energy performance of the property. such as fixing low energy lighting to all fixed lighting in the property (under £500)
  • Additional recommendations that could further improve energy performance but are not necessarily cost effective such as solar panels (over £500)
  • The level of cost, typical cost savings per year and the performance rating achievable after carrying out the individual recommendations
  • The rating the property could achieve if all the cost-effective recommendations were implemented
Who produces Energy Performance Certificates?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for homes are created by our in-house domestic energy assessors (DEAs) who are members of a government-approved accreditation scheme and are qualified to carry out inspections. Our government approved accreditation body is Elmhurst energy. They must use government software to produce EPCs.

You can find our DEA - or read about quality-assurance requirements - on the Elmhurst accreditation scheme website www.elmhurstenergy.co.uk

For existing domestic properties, building owners will need to use a DEA. For buildings under construction, you will need to use an on-construction domestic energy assessor.

DEAs are responsible for the accuracy of EPCs and recommendation reports. They must log the EPC on the national online register of EPCs against the property's address. Each property has a unique reference number.

Who is responsible for providing the Energy Performance certificate (EPC)?

The seller or landlord is responsible for providing an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for a building, or part of a building, which they intend to sell or let. This applies even if an agent or other service organization represents them or provides the EPC to the client. It therefore makes good business sense for sellers or landlords to ensure agents meet their duties.

The builder of a newly built or refurbished dwelling is responsible for handing over an EPC to the building's owner within five days of the building being completed. The builder must also inform building control officers at the local authority that they have done this, as a final certificate for the building will not be issued until this has been done.

The energy assessor is responsible for recording the EPC in the central online register of EPCs. They are also responsible for providing the person who commissioned the EPC with a copy of the certificate and its unique reference number.

The accreditation body to which the energy assessor belongs is responsible for investigating any concerns relating to the registration or authenticity of an EPC.

Trading standards officers are responsible for enforcing EPC regulations and can request a copy of an EPC from a building's owner or landlord at any time up to six months after the date on which they should have received it. You will have seven days in which to provide one. You should keep the EPC's unique number on file so that you can get a copy from the national register if you need to.

 

If a landlord doesn't provide an EPC to a tenant, or fails to show an EPC to an enforcement officer when asked, trading standards can issue a notice with a penalty charge. In addition to paying the penalty notice, the landlord will still have to provide an EPC to the person who has become the tenant.

Assuring Energy Performance Certificate standards

Our Accredited and qualified domestic energy assessors (DEAs) can produce Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for homes. They are all monitored by the accreditation body to ensure assessing standards meet with government requirements

What do I need to do at the appointment?

Once you have chosen an energy assessor and set an appointment for a home inspection, you should put together information that will help make for a more efficient inspection. Examples of such information include:

  • Certificates of compliance for your boiler
  • Guarantees for hot water or central heating systems
  • Guarantees for any wall or loft insulation work you have had on the property

If you have all this information to hand, the assessment for a typical house should take no more than an hour.

However, given that a poor EPC could affect the value of your property, you might want to consider taking steps to make even small improvements which could give your property a better base rating, eg improving insulation in your loft and water cylinder and changing all the light bulbs to low-energy ones.

If you can't be present at the time of assessment, then an estate agent - or other responsible adult who can answer any questions about the property - should be there instead. You will need to give the energy assessor access to every part of the property including loft space and meter cupboards - where available - and allow them to photograph any aspect of the property or piece of equipment they consider necessary for their report.

If you still have tenants in place, you should give them advance warning of when the energy assessor will be visiting the property.