What is recorded on an Energy Performance Certificate?
An official, valid certificate will include:
- A certificate reference number
- The address of the property it relates to
- The asset rating of the property it relates to
- Brief technical information
The certificate also provides administrative information, including:
- The assessor’s name and number
- The Accreditation Scheme
- The issue date
- The reference number of the associated
- The Recommendations Report
When is an EPC required?
An EPC is required when a building, (including a part of a building which has been designed or altered to be used separately), is constructed, sold or let.
For all sales and rentals, the EPC must be made available to any prospective buyer or tenant at the earliest opportunity and in any event:
- Before entering into a contract, or
- When information in writing is first given to such a person who requests information about the building, or
- When the building is first viewed by such a person.
Both the EPC and the Recommendation Report must be provided free of charge to prospective buyers or tenants, and be given to the person who ultimately becomes the buyer or tenant of the building. When a building or building unit is offered for sale or to rent, the EPC rating must be stated in all marketing literature (including sales particulars, newspaper and internet advertising).
Building owners need to be aware that for enforcement purposes, it is their responsibility to make sure that the EPC is made available and provided to the ultimate buyer or tenant. This is the case, even if in practice this is done by someone else (e.g. an agent or building manager/managing agent).
When is an EPC not required?
In the following situations an EPC may not be required:
- Buildings used primarily or solely as places of worship
- Temporary buildings with a planned time of use of two years or less
- Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand (but note: removal of existing heating systems to take advantage of this exemption is likely to be seen as an attempt to avoid regulation and is usually not tolerated)
- Standalone buildings with a total floor area of less than 50m2 which are not dwellings
- Particular buildings officially protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historic merit
How long is an EPC valid for?
The EPC for a non domestic building is valid for 10 years, although if a newer EPC is produced, only the latter will be the valid EPC for the building. There may be a requirement to produce a new certificate earlier than this, if certain works (heating, lighting, ventilation, building fabric) are carried out on the building.
How is an EPC produced?
The EPC is an asset rating based on the asset (the building’s fabric and installed building services) and not on how much the present occupiers use those services.
To produce the EPC the assessor will need:
- Data about the building construction
- Any alterations to the building fabric since it was built
- The building services
- The ‘activities’ taking place (or allowed to take place by the planning class)
To collect the relevant data the assessor will undertake a full visual inspection and measured survey. In some instances a full data set may be impossible to collect by visual inspection alone and the assessor will refer to any additional information provided by the building owner/occupier.
The process is complex and time consuming, because before the data may be input, the assessor must reflect on the data gathered and collate it in a form which suits the required methodology. Even for a straightforward building this may take a full day, and longer for more complex buildings.
What is a Recommendations Report?
The recommendation report is included with the EPC to improve the energy efficiency of the building. The recommendations only include those improvements that are appropriate for the building. The recommendations report:
- Is a valuable document giving advice on how to improve the energy performance of the premises
- No mandatory requirement to implement any of the recommendations provided
- Implementing recommendations will improve the premises, save on energy costs for the occupier, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the building
- Over time, improving the energy performance of the building is expected to improve its asset value, achieve higher rents and make the property easier to let
Who can produce an EPC?
Energy Performance Certificates are only produced by qualified energy assessors who are members of a government approved accreditation scheme. They must constantly undergo training and evaluation as well as carrying the appropriate levels of public and professional liability insurance.