Got a question regarding an EPC? Here are our questions we get asked the most

Q1. Are EPC’S a legal requirement?

Energy Performance Certificates are a legal requirement within the property building, letting and sales market. If you are building a property the EPC’s will be produced from the plans for the construction, if you are in the process of letting or selling an existing property you must have one to support the transaction, the EPC will be a visual and non-intrusive examination of your property, this is the responsibility of the seller or landlord to arrange. For sales this has been a requirement since 2007, and for the rental sector since 2008. The EPC is valid for ten years, and although you may have one which is out of date, which is not illegal, you are unable to proceed with selling or letting.

Q2. Are EPC’s accurate?

The programme for data calculation is very accurate, for existing property the RDSAP, Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure is used, the ‘Reduced’ means visual information collected on site, a non-intrusive inspection. The assessor can only input what he can see, access may not always be good, and if he is advised of works which have been done, the property owner will need documented evidence of that work, to support data entry. The assessor will also benefit from the knowledge of the property owner where certain items may not be obvious, such as where there may have been extensions and clarity of build date may be needed.
Some of the factors that the Energy Assessor is not able to change, are already pre-set in the software programme, and other factors have no effect upon the RDSAP software.
It also worth considering that Government Legislation is often changed, as are the building regulations, in line to meet Government Targets. New building materials, insulation and new technologies are all having effect on the grading of your EPC assessment. There-fore when you had an EPC completed ten years ago, your current EPC may be down-graded to show a lower result.
If you believe that the EPC that has been produced for your property is not correct, you are able to lodge a complaint, in the first instance to the Energy Assessor who completed the EPC. You are also able to make complaint to the Assessor’s Accreditation Agency.
On this point, SAP, Standard Assessment Procedure, full data is collected from plans, that were used for new domestic buildings that have been built since April 2008.

Q3. Are EPC’s still required?

The answer is a most definite yes, EPC’s most certainly needed when a home being sold by owner or being put up for rent. When a new build is under construction there will also be an EPC produced, this one will be based upon he plans of the build. With an ever-changing range of energy efficient products, you can work on the assumption, the newer the build, the more energy efficient it should be. With a target of zero carbon emissions by 2050, I can only imagine that the EPC will become more important. If you look at the Government schemes for improving the energy efficiency of our housing stock, they include an EPC to verify improvements and so the EPC will only become more commonly used.

Q4. Are EPC’s Required for holiday lets?

A holiday let would normally be exempt from needing an EPC, having said so, that is based upon the ruling that it would be used for less than four months of the year. Another thing to bear in mind is that for most holiday lets, the energy used is normally paid by the property owner. The property would also, if used for four months of the year, be using energy consumption of less than 25% of what would be the result of all year use.

Q5. Do Listed Buildings need an EPC?

The first line of action is to check on historicengland.org.uk if the property is a listed building.
Either way get an EPC completed on your property, by an accredited assessor, he should not switch off any recommendations unless given written guidance by the Local Conservation Officer, stating that the specific recommendation would “unacceptably alter the properties character or appearance” The owner should review the recommendations and be encouraged to consider making cost effective improvements that will reduce energy consumption and make the building more comfortable. Should the minimum energy efficiency standard not be achievable, or planning restrictions apply, then it could be used as grounds for an exemption.

Q6. Can EPC’s Fail?

The rating of an EPC is graded between the highest rating of A and the lowest of G. and being the least efficient, and therefore the more costly to run, and potentially the most damaging to the environment. The EPC is not a document to state if the property fails, but only an assessment to state where improvements can be made. The average band for the UK. is band D.
As a property owner the EPC that you have will advise you of the steps that you can take to make your property more efficient, warmer, more comfortable and cost you less to run.

If you are a property owner who intends to let the property for rent, or maybe a part of it, then what you need to be aware of is that the minimum energy standards for privately rented properties is to be no lower than band E.

Q7. Can EPC’S be done remotely?

Remotely is an adverb, from a distance, without physical contact.

I suppose that in one way you could say that an EPC is completed remotely, due to it being a non-intrusive assessment of the energy performance of your property, the energy assessor will enter in the data that he can see to complete the assessment, the property owner may support his findings with history about the property and may support that with receipts or guarantees of work completed.
To add further clarity, the domestic property assessor does need to be on site, as does the owner, or his agent, and willing and able to give access to the home.

Q8. Can an EPC be completed on-line?

The accredited energy assessor will have two ways to complete the EPC, either by a paper document, which he will complete and then support it with floor plan, site notes, property measurements and photographs, alternatively he may enter the details directly through to the accreditation company using an I-pad or mobile phone, also supported with floor plan, site notes, measurements and photographs.
The EPC is unable to be prepared by any other party.

Q9. Who can do an EPC certificate?

The energy assessor who collects the various data and supporting evidence will enter this into the software that will determine and calculate the energy efficiency of the property that he is assessing.
For existing buildings, rather than new, the Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure will be used. Data from your property will include items like date of build, heat loss walls, party walls, wall type and insulation, both water and space-heating, glazing and insulation plus doors.
There are some factors that are pre-set in the RDSAP software, such as standard occupancy, standard heating patterns, building regulations values and dates, SAP fuel prices, standard lighting usage, and standard locality and topography.
When these figures are brought together is when the RDSAP software produces the EPC rating, and certificate.

Q10. I can-not find my old EPC certificate.

The new 2020 EPC register will enable you to review your most recent EPC, and to check if it is still valid. The register was launched by the housing minister, Christopher Pincher on 30th September 2020, and holds details for over 27 million properties. You may be able to access a copy of your missing EPC document, but only if one exists.

https://find-energy-certificate.digital.communities.gov.uk/find-a-certificate/search-by-postcode

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