Understanding How an EPC Register Works
What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate, commonly abbreviated as EPC, is a legal requirement that features when you want to sell, rent, or construct your property in the UK. On the other hand, an EPC register is a record of all the energy-rated properties in the country. Also known as the Domestic Energy Performance Register, the registration is operated by Landmark on behalf of the government, and clients can get it from the government website. With the document, you will get full details on the building’s energy efficiency, and it should be updated once every ten years. Failing to update or perform the EPC assessment for the property is a punishable offence, and you may be heftily fined.
The graph shows this property’s current and potential energy efficiency.
The EPC register
The EPC register allows you to find an energy performance certificate (EPC) by postcode.
What is the Importance of an EPC?
Today, an EPC is a requirement when you want to sell, rent, or build property in the UK. It is usually a four-page document that clearly explains the energy efficiency on a scale of A to G. Now, A depicts a very energy-efficient home and is the highest on the scale. On the other hand, G is the lowest and shows that the house is not energy-efficient. Here is a highlight of the importance of Energy Performance Certificates.
You get a Complete Energy Survey Process
With the professional EPC assessor in your home, you can rest assured that you will get a complete energy survey. It mostly happens in steps, and you can see everything that is going on. You can trust them as they have been performing the assessments and surveys for a couple of years. Therefore, they professionally understand what is expected from their end. Whether it is a commercial or non-commercial building, they know where to look during the assessment.
You Benefit from the Professional Advice after the Assessment
After the assessment, the EPC assessor will give you a report with all their findings and recommendations on enhancing your EPC rating. They give you the most workable options depending on the type of your home as well as your rating. These recommendations are practical and are sure ways to improve the energy efficiency in your property. Since they have been in the industry for a considerable amount of time, they will give you professional advice on the EPC rating. Besides the advice, they can also pinpoint potential problems with the home’s energy efficiency. With this information, you can carry out the relevant adjustments and make your home better, more habitable, and more energy-efficient.
Your Learn How to Save Energy
When working in other sectors or fields, you may have little or no knowledge of saving energy. Besides the assessment and recommendations on curbing energy loss, they will also teach you how you can save energy. It may include measures such as switching off the lights during the day, incorporating natural lighting methods, as well as changing your equipment and machines. Their focus is to make sure that you achieve an energy-efficient home with the highest EPC rating.
You Fulfil the Legal Requirement
The EPC is a legal requirement for anyone who wants to sell, build, or buy property. By having the assessment performed, you get to fulfil your legal obligation.
How Long Does the EPC Take?
Several factors affect the timeline for the assessment. An EPC assessor may take a couple of minutes or hours, depending on the home’s size, controls, heating systems, and amenities. Once the assessment is done, they will then compile and send you the report within 24 or 48 hours. Some assessors may take longer for commercial EPCs.
What Does an EPC Assessor look for?
When you want to rent, build, or sell property, you need to book a property assessment professional or an EPC assessor. But what does an EPC assessor really look for?
The Type of the House, Age, and the Floor Region
Usually, the age of the house and the type of construction used will determine your EPC rating. If your house is old with traditional walls, roofs, and elevated floors, there are chances that you will get a low EPC rating. The assessor will carefully check the type and age of the home to determine the amount of fuel used per square meter.
The Sources of Primary and Secondary Heat, as well as the controls
In this section, the assessors, main concentration will be on the heat pumps, electric heaters and other electric radiators. These fall under the category of secondary heat source and will affect the EPC rating.
The Type of Home Insulation You Have
Insulation is a crucial aspect of every home. Not only does it bar heat from leaving the premises, but it also protects you from adverse weather conditions from entering your house. The more insulation you have in your home, the better the EPC rating you will get. If there is poor or no insulation in the home, the assessor will record that, and this will lower your EPC rating. They will check the general house locations, as well as the loft.
The Type of Light Bulbs in the Home
What kind of bulbs do you have in the home? The EPC assessor will have their eyes on the bulbs in the home. They will inspect every room in the home to find out whether your lights are energy efficient. With the wide range of bulbs and lighting fixtures in the home, you may not really know the precise percentage of energy used. The assessor will record this and let you know.
The Value of Air Tightness in the Home
The EPC assessor will check the airtightness in the home and determine its range. If the values are high, then the EPC rating will be lower. On the flip side, if you have performed draught-proofing in the home, your rating goes up exponentially.
The Windows in Your House
Do you have glazing on your windows? Well, glazing your windows gives you a perfect shot at getting a high EPC rating for your home. As a homeowner, you must understand that the EPC rating depends on the type of protection or glazing done. Single glazing is great but doesn’t offer as much protection as the double glazing option.
The Hot Water Aspect in the Home
Have you insulated your water tank and pipes? Most people insulate them with lagging, and this enhances the EPC rating. The EPC assessor will check all these aspects and give you a breakdown of the home’s efficiency.
How Can I Prepare for the EPC Assessment?
So now that you have the date for the assessment, how can you prepare? Well, there is not so much that you can do if it is soon. However, if you have some days or time, there are a few adjustments that you can make. Here are some tips.
- Clean the house: As a homeowner, you must understand that the EPC assessor will get into every room or section. As such, you must ensure that the home is clean before the assessment. It is a brief and short assessment of the home but means a lot.
- Complete any pending improvements: Before you book your EPC survey or assessment, you must finish all the required improvements. This is because the assessor will only incorporate the improvements that are done and complete and not those that haven’t taken place yet.
- Be mindful of the RdSAP EPC (Reduced data Standard Assessment Procedure) and the full SAP EPC (Standard Assessment Procedure. The former is applicable for existing dwellings, while the former works for the new dwellings.
What is Included in an EPC Report?
Once the EPC assessment is over, the assessor will compile a report of all their findings. It will majorly be on the energy efficiency as well as the environmental impact of the home. Looking at the rating, you realise that it reflects the energy used per square meters. A high rating is good, while a low one implies that your home consumes too much and is not energy efficient. Here’s more to what you find in the EPC report.
- An updated and potential energy efficiency rating
- The estimated energy use for every year, including aspects such as lighting, heating, and hot water usage
- Possible ways to reduce the costs of energy usage
- An updated and potential report on the emissions of carbon dioxide
- A current and potential rating on the house’s environmental impact
- Recommended ways to enhance the home’s EPC rating
- Potential annual savings for the landlord or property owner
- Things that the occupants should do to reduce running costs as well as the environmental impacts
- More measures on increasing energy efficiency
How to Get an EPC and a Great EPC Assessor
Are you wondering how you can get an EPC? Well getting an EPC requires that you find a great assessor first. Finding the right assessor does not have to be a difficult task. You can quickly research online for the EPC assessors near you or use government-sponsored websites such as Landmark. While on the Landmark website, you will click on the ‘Start Now’ prompt to begin. Once you click the prompt, you will be required to enter whether it is a domestic or non-domestic property. After this, you will be required to enter the property’s postcode to find the assessor by postcode. You will get great recommendations on the best EPC assessors near you.
Buildings that do not require an EPC
While it is mandatory for you to obtain an EPC when building, renting, or selling property, some properties do not require an EPC. Let’s explore them.
- Any place of worship
- Industrial sites, workshops, and non-residential agricultural buildings that consume very little energy
- Any temporary building that will only be used for less than two years
- Most buildings that are due for demolition
- Any stand-alone building with a total useful space of not more than 50m2
- Accommodations for a holiday that will only be rented for not more than four months every year
- Holiday accommodations under a license to occupy
- All residential buildings that will only be used for not more than four months every year
- Any listed buildings; before obtaining the EPC, you should talk with your local authority conservation officer and see if the ongoing works will affect the building’s strength
How Can I Increase My EPC Rating?
Are you looking for suitable ways on how to improve EPC score? When looking to enhance your home’s value to the required or accepted standards, there are a few things that you must do. You need to understand that the effectiveness of these measures also depends on the occupants in the home, as well as the state. If it is a rental unit, you must engage your tenants in a conversation so that they can also help enhance the EPC rating. Let’s explore some proven ways to increase the EPC rating for your property.
Get an Upgrade for Your Lighting
Your lighting hugely impacts the EPC rating. One great way to enhance the score is by getting LED light bulbs. They are usually energy-efficient and eco-friendly options for your home. If you have been using old halogen or incandescent light bulbs, you can quickly change to LED without spending too much money. This is the cheapest and quickest way to enhance your home’s EPC rating.
Insulate Your Walls and Roofs
Getting some high-quality insulation for your home is also a popular and effective energy efficiency measure to enhance your EPC rating. If the insulation was poor or lacking, you could get new insulation done, and this enhances your EPC by afar. Homeowners should focus on getting the loft to at least 270mm thick in order to reduce the heat that escapes through the roof. According to research, a home with uninsulated roofing loses heat up to 33%, and this hugely alters the EPC rating.
Besides the roof, you should also insulate your home’s walls. Most modern homes have a built-in gap of at least two layers of bricks for insulation. Solid wall insulation is a great way to reduce the energy lost from home as well as enhance the EPC rating. While it is a great way to increase your EPC rating, it is crucial to note that solid wall insulation for the internal and external part of the home is relatively expensive. You need to be willing to spend a considerable amount of money to achieve the best results. However, homeowners will significantly get larger savings on heating bills and expenditure.
Get an Energy-Efficient Boiler
Heating is a crucial aspect of the home. You need to keep the home warm and conducive for all occupants. Now, most people use boilers, and they may not always be energy efficient. While heating is such a crucial thing at home, it is also a huge determinant of the EPC rating. If you have a malfunctioning boiler, you will use more energy to operate it, affecting your EPC rating. As such, you must install an energy-efficient boiler to reduce your energy usage. Switching to a newer and condensing model exponentially enhances your EPC rating. You can also pair the new boiler with other smart heating technologies such as thermostats and radiator controls in a bid to reduce your heating bills. When acquiring a new boiler, you need to confirm the energy usage from the seller. Even more, check the warranty period so that you can return or get service if something goes wrong during the warranty. All this makes perfect sense when it comes to the EPC rating.
Use Glazing for Your Windows
Getting the right windows could significantly reduce your energy bills. Window glazing is a form of protection where your windows reduce the amount of heat lost. Now, it comes in different forms; single, double, and triple glazing. While single glazing is fairly affordable (to install and maintain), it may not offer complete protection. Double glazing comes in second on the list and is better than single glazing. It has some great impact on the EPC rating but doesn’t match up to the triple glazing. Ensure that you invest in the best options within your budgeting and spending. It can move the EPC score by five or ten points.
Get a Smart Meter
The UK government had promised that every home in the UK would have a smart meter. The meters were to measure the energy consumption, which would help homeowners and tenants get more energy efficient. However, this hasn’t been possible for every home. You can acquire and install a smart meter so that you know how much energy you spend in a month. According to research, these meters help make adjustments in the home in a bid to become less wasteful and manage their energy bills.