If this winter has taught us a lesson, it is that energy is no longer a provision for all. Some in the UK are struggling to warm their homes. The world is at the clasp of an energy crisis. Energy is becoming more expensive, and its modernisation to fit the bill of a warming planet is becoming inevitable. Energy efficiency in a home is a modern-day necessity. Every home will need a better energy performance certificate. If you are buying a new home, there has never been a more apt time to take note of this vital document.
What is an energy performance certificate?
An Energy Performance Certificate or EPC shows the level of energy efficiency of your home and room for improvement. A scale from A to G rates buildings in the UK, with A being the most efficient. The EPC shows;
- The building’s ‘energy efficiency rating’ indicates the cost of energy bills.
- The ‘environmental impact rating’ shows the effect the building has on the environment with CO2 emissions.
Both ratings are on a scale from A to G. All residential properties in Scotland should achieve an EPC rating of C by 2033, where technically and legally feasible and cost-effective.
Lesser room for improvement means a higher rating. The information on the certificate includes measures that can improve the energy efficiency of the building and how much each improvement costs. The Recommendation Report, provided with the EPC, contains detailed information and further advice.
As per Scottish law, the EPC must be ‘affixed’ to the building. The building standards guidance suggests the boiler or meter cupboard. An EPC is only valid for 10 years. Once it expires, you need to update it for a new sale or tenancy.
What does the energy performance certificate measure?
The EPC measures and evaluates various aspects of a building, such as its size and layout, construction techniques, and the way it is insulated, heated, ventilated, and lighted. The calculation is directly relational to standard assertions of occupancy and use.
The EPC uses an official UK Government calculation methodology. Technical information regarding the calculation methodologies is available on the Building Research Establishment website: https://bregroup.com/sap/standard-assessment-procedure-sap-2012/
What are the instances where you require an energy performance certificate?
An EPC should be available when,
- A new building has been constructed (at the completion stage of the building warrant process)
- A building is to be sold or rented to a new tenant.
An updated EPC is necessary when improvements to a building have been made, especially for selling or letting. When a home is for sale, the adverts must display the energy performance indicator (the energy efficiency rating for a dwelling). It should be freely available to those who are enquiring about the property. Owners who fail to provide EPCs or do not indicate the rating on advertising could be subject to a penalty charge notice (minimum £500) in each case.
What are the benefits of obtaining an energy performance certificate?
It is the law – An EPC is a legal requirement in Scotland when selling or letting properties. Owners must produce a home Energy Performance Certificate for buyers and tenants. The Home Report, essential when selling a home, consists of the Energy Performance Certificate.
Indicates the level of energy efficiency in a home – The higher the energy efficiency of a home, the better the value you receive for your money. So, whether you are a buyer or a tenant, the energy efficiency rating tells you if you are paying a fair amount. Poorer ratings usually mean higher utility bills.
Builds trust – Producing an EPC for your property is complying with the law. It also means you are accountable and responsible for the product you are marketing. By working to improve the energy performance of the building, you show that you take energy efficiency seriously, an effort that will save money for future owners and tenants.
What are the instances where the EPC is not required?
An EPC is not a requirement for:
- Stand-alone buildings, which are not dwellings that have a usable floor area of less than 50 m²
- Temporary buildings that have planned use of 2 years or less
- Low energy demand buildings, such as non-residential agricultural buildings and workshops
- Buildings sold for demolition only.
In Scotland, places of worship and historic buildings are not exempt from an EPC.
How do you obtain the energy performance certificate?
An EPC can only be produced by an assessor who is a member of an approved organisation by the Scottish Government. The government-approved organisations whose members have the skills and expertise to produce EPCs and make recommendations on improvement measures are held on the Scottish EPC register. When you need an EPC, contact a member of one of the approved organisations in your local area.
If you didn’t know how crucial an EPC was when buying a home, we hope you are now informed well enough to pay it more attention. A lot is riding on the energy performance of a home. Better energy performance means better affordability. Securing a higher energy performance rating may take retrofitting existing homes. But new build homes are built to future-proof energy specifications. GS Brown Construction homes have higher energy ratings thanks to their contemporary designs, premium material, and energy-saving features. Tour our developments to learn more about homes in the scenic Scottish country.