ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES
What an EPC assessor is looking for when doing an EPC inspection?
Before an Energy Performance Certificate can be issued for the property, a physical EPC survey must be carried out by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor also referred to as a DEA. During the inspection, the energy assessor will need access to all the rooms and the loft (if there is safe access). Photographic evidence of the following will be required:
Front and rear sides of the property including the roof
Boiler and boiler pipes
Thermostat and radiators
Energy saving bulbs
Gas & electricity meters
Wall thickness of the main building including extensions
Windows including single and double glazing variations
Thickness of the loft insulation
Water cylinders including controls
Bath and mixer showers
The DEA may also take photographs of any unusual features in the building. Care will be taken to ensure personal items are not present within the photos taken.
Following this, the EPC Surveyor will measure the length, width and height of each floor at the property and draw a floor plan marking out any party walls and heat loss walls. A party wall is the wall that connects to an adjacent property while a heat loss wall is any wall that is exposed to external elements. A mid-terraced property has two party walls and two heat loss walls while a semi-detached property has three heat loss walls and one party wall. A detached house only has heat loss walls.
Upon completion of the above, the surveyor will go away and input the data into a special software called RDSAP+ which will then generate an Energy Performance Certificate. An EPC can be viewed by Local Authorities at any time as they have access to the Government website where it is uploaded.
The Energy Performance Certificate tells you:
The property performance in terms of the energy used per square meter of floor area, energy efficiency based on fuel costs and environmental impact on Carbon Dioxide (CO2).
The energy performance of the building on the date it was inspected.
The energy efficiency rating is a measure of the overall efficiency of the building. The higher the rating the more efficient the building is, and the lower the fuel bills are likely to be.
The environmental impact rating is a measure of a building’s impact upon the environment in terms of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. The lower the rating the less impact it has on the environment.
The certificate also suggests improvements that you can make.
The EPC is valid for 10 years.
The EPC certificate does not tell you:
The value of the building or cover things that are more specifically considered when a valuation is provided, such as the locality of the building or the availability of public transport or facilities.
About the condition of the building or it’s services.
The inspection is non-invasive. This means that the Energy Assessor will not uproot carpets, floor coverings or boards, move furniture or remove the contents of cupboards. The Energy Assessor will not remove secured panels or undo electrical fittings. If a certain area is not accessible i.e. underfloor insulation and there is no documentary evidence, the assessor cannot mark it as present. If access to the boiler or other key heating or cooling plants is not possible, it is likely that an Energy Performance Certificate cannot be produced and the inspection will have to be abandoned.
Installing LED bulbs does have a beneficial impact to your EPC ratings. It is highly advisable to change as many bulbs as possible to low energy LED bulbs before a Domestic Energy Assessor is called out. Not only will this act favourably on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), it will save you those vital extra pennies and help the environment at the same time. With global warming evidently impacting the planet, we firmly believe that every little change makes a difference. #GlobalWarmingIsReal
QUICK TIP: WILL CHANGING LIGHTS TO LED BULBS HAVE AN
IMPACT ON THE EPC?
New EPC laws for landlords came into force in April 2020
Fundamental changes regarding Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) came into force in April 2020. What were these changes in simple terms? Let us try and explain.
Historically, a valid residential Energy Performance Certificate or EPC was only required for new tenancies or the renewal of a tenancy. When we mean 'valid,' we mean that an EPC assessor has come out to your property within the last 10 years, conducted an EPC survey and issued an Energy Performance Certificate with an energy efficiency rating of an 'E' or above. Until April 2020, this requirement was not applicable to existing tenancies i.e. if you had a long standing tenant, it was ok to continue to rent out the property even if the EPC rating was below an E.
In April 2020, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) government regulation changed and now require all rented out properties, including existing tenancies to have a minimum energy efficiency rating of 'E.' This means that landlords can no longer shelter themselves under the 'existing tenancy' canopy. As long as the EPC rating is below an 'E', they are legally required to make energy efficiency improvements or face a hefty fine.
For further reading on legislation related to Energy Performance Certificates, please visit the Official UK Government website.
Proposal to ensure landlords have an EPC rating of C for rented properties by 2028!
Recently the department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched a consultation with the aim to improve the energy efficiency of privately rented homes in England and Wales.
This change, if implemented would be substantial as it would require all privately rented homes to have an EPC rating of C by 2028. With the current MEES requirement of E, Landlord would have to make considerable changes to the fabric of the property in order to meet these new standards.
The proposal is as follows:
1.‘New tenancies’ to reach EPC rating of C from 1st April 2025.
2. 'All tenancies’ to reach EPC rating of C by 1st April 2028.
Please find below further details to the government consultation on improving the energy efficiency of privately rented homes.
Please also find a response to this consultation from one of the leading accreditation bodies 'Elmhust Energy:'
The UK Government has increased its focus towards trying to minimise the harmful effects of climate change. In addition, the recent elections in America and the appointment of Joe Biden should see further collaboration from these two nations to ensure adequate steps are taken. We expect this to, in turn, ripple down and have an impact on the EPC industry in a positive way.
Are you a landlord based in Bradford, Leeds, Bingley, Keighley, Shipley, Halifax and require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)? Please contact us and we will aim to book you in for an EPC survey within 48 hours. Our friendly team will also check to make sure that you do actually need an EPC. So many times an EPC has already been registered in the last 10 years without property owners being aware. This may have been due to a past loft or boiler installation as an EPC was a requirement for many green deal grants historically.
Whatever your queries, we will be more than happy to assist.