What is an EPC?

In a similar way that 'white goods' are graded A to G for energy performance, Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) provide a measure of the energy performance and environmental impact for the home; allowing a homeowner or potential buyer to easily see the efficiency of the property and to find out what measures can be taken to improve its efficiency.

There are two types of EPC for domestic properties. The EPC for existing properties and what is known as an On Construction EPC (OCEPC) for new builds.

An EPC can only be prepared by a qualified and accredited Home Inspector or Domestic Energy Assessor. An OCEPC can only be produced by a specially accredited SAP Assessor.

The EPC shows a coloured banding system:
Band A = low running costs to Band G = high running costs.

The EPC also provides basic information on how to cut costs by recommending energy efficiency measures, ranging from thicker loft insulation through to solar panels.

Improvement in the energy efficiency of our homes is an important part of reducing our overall emissions, helping to reduce the effects of global warming.

How is an EPC calculated?
The calculations for existing dwellings are based on what is known as Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP), depicting the Primary energy use which is the annual energy cost per m² floor space. This allows comparison between properties regardless of their size and usage.

The EPC for a newly built property is based on the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and uses much more detailed information, sourced from the plans and specifications for the building. EPCs for new builds can only be produced by a specifically accredited SAP Assessor.

In simple terms, the lower the number the poorer the performance.

The current average for existing dwellings is between 46 and 51 SAP Points.
‘New build’ housing could be expected to achieve approximately 80 SAP Points (subject to changes in Building Regulations).

Who needs an EPC?
The regulations changed on 21st May 2010 when Home Information Packs were suspended.

An EPC is required to be commissioned before a property is marketed for sale. Commissioned means that the EPC has either been paid for or an agreement to pay has been made.

An EPC is also required for properties offered for rental. Under current regulations properties must acheive at least an E rating for new or renewing tenancies.

Since 30th June 2011 an EPC has been required for any property which is rented out as a holiday let for a combined total of four months or more in any twelve month period.