Have you seen one of the coloured and tiered energy efficiency rating stickers, or you’re wondering about pursuing an Energy Performance Certificate for your business? Great! In this article we are going to explore what these things are and how they benefit you.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
Graded from A through to G, an EPC rates how energy efficient your building is, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. The certificate is valid for ten years and is generally for public use or for the use of prospective tenants or buyers. If you haven’t got an EPC, don’t worry, not everyone needs one…
Who needs EPC?
There are three categories you may fall into that require you to have an EPC:
- If you rent out or wish to sell your building
- If a new building has finished being constructed
- If there are major changes to the building you own, such as changes to the central heating system, air conditioning system or ventilation
What if you don’t have Energy Performance Certificate when you should?
Fines may be distributed between £500 and £5000, depending on the value of the building if you fail to make the EPC available to a potential tenant or new owner. EPCs are not free, so make sure you budget in a cost when applying, usually between £60 and £120.
The cost of the EPC is to be paid for by the landlord or owner, not by a rental tenant or prospective buyer, this must be remembered. Landlords who try to charge for access to the EPC can be fined a fixed penalty of £200.
Do you need to have EPC of your property out on display?
Not always, though it’s a good idea. If your building meets ALL three of these points, you MUST display the EPC in your building.
- Over 500 square meters of floor space
- Building in frequent public use
- The EPC has already been produced for the building’s sale, rental or construction
Quite often, EPCs are placed in the meter cupboard or next to the boiler.
Can you be exempt from needing an Energy Performance Certificate?
There are actually many different types of exemptions, which can be found on Gov.uk, but we have shared them below.
You don’t need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you can demonstrate that the building is any of these:
- Listed or officially protected and the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it
- A temporary building only going to be used for 2 years or less
- Used as a place of worship or for other religious activities
- An industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that doesn’t use much energy
- A detached building with a total floor space under 50 square metres
- Due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant planning and conservation consents
- Vacant buildings and demolition
A building is also exempt if all of the following are true:
- It’s due to be sold or rented out with vacant possession
- It’s suitable for demolition and the site could be redeveloped
- The buyer or tenant has applied for planning permission to demolish it
What does energy efficiency rating mean?
Ok, so now you know what the certificate is, how are the grades A to G chosen? Well, an assessor will decide on scores for many different factors, especially how efficiently the house uses energy based on the system it uses, insulation and internal electrics. The EPC also estimates how much is would cost to run the home, as well as providing recommendations on how things could be improved.
An ‘A’ rating, the best available, is a score of over 92%, and would suggest a brand new property that has been designed, insulated and constructed very well, with energy efficiency a key idea in the project.
A ‘G’ rating would indicate a very old, perhaps borderline derelict building, with heavy drafts and little by means of insulation or energy efficiency.
If you’re asking – what does energy efficiency rating mean – because you’re confused by the ‘current’ and ‘potential’ figures on the EPC, it’s really quite simple. The score on the left side of the EPC, the ‘current’ energy efficiency rating, measures how well your home performs now. The ‘potential’ figure will require some work to bring your house up to standard, though should not be strongly seen as a maximum.
What are the ‘estimated energy costs of this home?’
On another part of the EPC, you will see the costs of lighting, heating and hot water over the next three years. To the right of this column will be another showing the potential costs if the energy efficiency rating of the home was raised, and in the final column will be a total figure for potential savings over three years (based on recommended improvements).
The Final Summary
Now you are clear on – what does energy efficiency rating mean – the final section of the EPC should be quite self explanatory. You will see a table with three columns, marked ‘element’, ‘description’ and ‘energy efficiency’. Under element will be nine different rows, each one representing different aspects of the house – walls, roof, floor, windows, main heating, main heating controls, secondary heating, hot water and lighting. The description box gives some additional information about the current state of the element. The energy efficiency rating for each element is rated out of five stars.
Important to note: From April 2018, landlords must achieve at least an ‘E’ rating on their EPC, unless there is a valid reason for exemption.
Have we sufficiently answered – what does energy efficiency rating mean – question?