What's New

Energy Performance Certificates

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

Buildings when constructed, sold or rented out, including homes, public sector buildings and business premises will require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

The EPC will give owners/tenants better information about the carbon dioxide emissions from their buildings. For example, every new home in Scotland will require a certificate when it is constructed and every existing home will need one when it is sold or rented. They include simple cost-effective home improvement measures that will help save energy, reduce bills and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Legislation for Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for all new buildings was introduced in Scotland on 1 May 2007. For existing buildings, an EPC will be required when the property is sold or rented out to new tenants. Once in place an EPC is valid for 10 years.

The timetable for introduction was as follows (time table to be added by Dale):

The certificate records how energy efficient a property is as a building and provides A-G ratings. These are similar to the labels now provided with domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines.

They are produced using standard methods and assumptions about energy usage so that the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another building of the same type. This allows prospective tenants, owners, occupiers and purchasers to see information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions from the building so they can consider energy efficiency and fuel costs as part of their investment.

An EPC is always accompanied by a recommendation report that lists cost effective and other measures (such as low and zero carbon generating systems) to improve the energy rating. A rating is also given showing what could be achieved if all the recommendations were implemented.

The certificate is important because nearly 50 per cent of the UK's energy consumption and carbon emissions arise from the way our buildings are lit, heated and used. Even comparatively minor changes in energy performance and the way we use each building will have a significant effect in reducing energy consumption.

To produce an EPC, essentially two elements of work need to be undertaken. Firstly, data collection involving the copying and reviewing of existing drawings (in some cases in more complex buildings where no drawings exist, the actual preparation of at least floor plans is required) and a site visit to collect/record the information required and subsequently prepare it for input. The second element is the inputting exercise. Each individual item of information is manually input. For example, individual room dimensions, breadth, length and height and window and door dimensions are input as well as wall, ceiling and floor construction information. Heating, lighting and ventilation information is also input in a room by room basis. A complex software program is used of which there are currently three systems being operated. The most common system used in Scotland is called “Simplified Building Energy Model” commonly referred to as the “SBEM” method. Incidentally, it is far from simple!

Some of the data collection items are as follows:

General:

Age of building
Aspect
Notes on adjoining properties
Construction details Roof, walls and floors
Types of insulation where present
Alterations and dates thereof

Room by room basis:

Room descriptor
Wall, floor and ceiling construction
Length, breadth and height
Window dimensions and type of window
Nature and dimensions of rooflights
External door dimensions and type of door
Notes re 6 metre zoning of rooms

Services:

Heating system/boiler details
Boiler controls details
Thermostats and radiator TRV’s
Domestic HW system details
Pipework insulation if present
Assess deadlegs in DHW
Type of lighting – room by room
Radiators – room by room
Mechanical ventilation if present – room by room

BSPC Ltd.