The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a piece of certification that has come along since I’ve started this project and is now a compulsory piece of paper required by building control as a part of the completion process. The requirement for an EPC came into effect from the 6th of April 2008, with the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2002.
Why do I need one?
From October 2008 EPCs will be required whenever a building is built, sold or rented out.
So what is an EPC?
The EPC is part of a series of measures being introduced across Europe to reflect legislation which will help cut buildings’ carbon emissions and tackle climate change.
The certificate provides ‘A’ to ‘G’ ratings for the building, with ‘A’ being the most energy efficient and ‘G’ being the least, with the average up to now being ‘D’.
Accredited energy assessors produce EPCs alongside an associated report which suggests improvements to make a building more energy efficient.
Note the final point from that quote – you’ll need a accredited energy assessor to produce your EPC for you. Depending on the type of EPC, they’ll carryout a survey of the building, need copies of your plans and then plug some statistics into some software and provide you with a certificate.
For a conversion or new build an On Construction SAP EPC is required and for existing dwellings a RdSAP (reduced data SAP) EPC is required when the dwelling is sold or rented out. Both utilise similar calculations with data for the RdSAP calculation being gathered during a short site visit, whilst the SAP EPC can be derived mainly from the plans.
Frustratingly, although the EPC is a kind of SAP-lite you may find, as I have, that whoever did the SAP calculations for your planning application won’t be able to provide your EPC as it’s not financially worth their while. To become an EPC accredited energy assessor and then remain one is an expensive exercise. Combining that with a relatively low charge for an EPC means that this is a high volume business – one that is not suited to many traditional planners, designers or technicians.
The resultant certificate will look something like this example from the communities.gov.uk website.
An EPC lasts for ten years before needing to be renewed.