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How are energy performance certificates (EPCs) assessed?

EPC assessor standing outside in the garden of a house

Since 2007 it has been a requirement that all buildings in the UK have an energy performance certificate (EPC) to ensure they meet the right housing standards.

These reports are valid for 10 years from the date it was produced for rental properties and follow specific practices that commercial landlords, housing associations, and councils should familiarise themselves with.

As housing providers prepare to upgrade their properties to reach the EPC rating of ‘C’ by 2030, they are urged to check their existing EPCs for guidance on the status of their homes.

The EPC assessment process and criteria

EPCs are based on a rating system from ‘A’ to ‘G’. Properties rated ‘G’ are labelled as the biggest producers of carbon dioxide emissions while homes given an ‘A’ are the most energy efficient and have lower energy bills as a result.

Assessors who are fully qualified to carry out EPCs will carefully assess all aspects of the home and come up with a score out of 100 which is the equivalent of a grade.

What is an EPC score?

92-100 points are equivalent to an ‘A’ grade, 81-91 is a ‘B’ grade, 69-80 is a ‘C’ grade and 69-80 points are a ‘D’ grade. Every point counts when it comes to determining the overall grade, which is why only accredited assessors should be relied on to provide these.

Less qualified assessors offer default values. Although this will get the job done quicker than a meticulous assessor, it is more likely to result in a worse score.

Budling fabric and building services are the two main aspects of the building that EPCs analyse. Building services refer to different components such as lighting and heating while the building fabric refers to the construction of the building such as the walls, floors, and the overall structure.

What does an EPC include?

EPCs show the energy efficiency and the environmental impact of a home, and they also include recommendations on how to improve the overall rating. Depending on the property, these can range from lighting improvements to gas upgrades.

Different sections of these reports include the current energy costs as well as the potential savings, the energy efficiency rating, measures that can improve efficiency, and a performance summary,

The certificate will include a colour-coded energy efficiency rating. Red represents poor energy efficiency whereas colours closer to green represent an energy-efficient home.

The overall performance of the home will be shown in the documents, too. The different elements of the home can be awarded a maximum of five stars and a minimum of four stars.

Why are EPCs helpful?

EPCs are helpful because they highlight what areas of the home need to be improved and are listed in order of importance. This can help commercial landlords, councils and housing associations prioritise the maintenance and improvement work that needs to be focused on.

Information about how much the work would cost to get done as well as savings that could be made, if the work gets carried out, is included in the EPC as well.

Although full changes to EPC ratings are not expected to come into action until 2030, commercial landlords and housing associations that start prioritising and getting checks done early on can approach changes to the private and social rental sector with ease.

Here at Propcert, we are a nationwide provider of property services including Energy Performance Certificates, Electrical Installation Condition Reports, Asbestos Surveys, Fire Risk Assessments and more.

We can help support your efforts of reaching an EPC rating of ‘C’ and reduce costs. For a full list of services please click here and contact us here for any more information on what we provide.

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