EPCs & Floorplans FAQs

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EPCs & Floorplans FAQs Back to top

1.) What is an EPC?

It is a legal requirement to get an EPC every time you buy, sell or rent a property. The EPC shows you the estimated heating, lighting and hot water costs and carbon emissions released in one year. The EPC gives you recommendations about how you can reduce energy use and costs. With an EPC you can compare the energy efficiency ratings of homes across the UK. The EPC is generated following an EPC assessment.

Find more information to see if you require an EPC please click here

2.) What is an energy assessment?

An accredited Energy Assessor visits the property to collect only the data required for assessing energy features, and generates an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The assessment is based on the construction and type of dwelling and relevant fittings (heating systems, insulation or double glazing, for example). It is not a structural or building survey, condition report or property valuation.

An EPC should not be read as a comment on the overall condition of the property but as data assessing energy features only.

3.) What is meant by a “domestic” EPC?

A domestic EPC is one that’s issued for a property on the basis that it’s a “dwelling”. Most individual properties (detached, semi-detached and terraced houses, flats and maisonettes) which are used primarily as homes for single households will be “dwellings”.

6.) What is included/detailed in an EPC?
  1. Date of Certificate - this needs to be within the last 10 years for the EPC to be valid
  2. Estimated Energy Costs – these figures show how much the average household would spend in the property for heating, lighting and hot water. This excludes running appliances such as TV’s, computers and cookers.
  3. Energy Efficiency Rating – The energy efficiency rating is a measure of the overall efficiency of a home. The higher the rating the more efficient the home is and the lower the fuel bills.
  4. Recommendations – the report will provide measures to improve the energy performance of your property.
8.) I have a converted garage; do I need a separate EPC?

If your main house and converted garage have a shared entrance and they share cooking and bathroom facilities, your garage can be included in the EPC of your main house.

If your converted garage is self-contained and has its own entrance, cooking and bathroom facilities, it needs a separate EPC.

9.) I am a Landlord for private rental properties and understand new Regulations will be Implemented in 2018. Is this correct? If so, how will this affect me?

On 1 April 2016 a new minimum standard for properties rented out in the private sector was introduced. From 1 April 2018 there will be a requirement for new lets and renewals of properties rented out in the private sector to have a minimum energy efficiency rating of E on an EPC.

From 1 April 2020 the minimum standard of an energy efficiency rating of E on an EPC will apply to all existing tenancies. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.

Please click here for further guidance. (link to EPC’s 2018 New Regulation to Landlords)

10.) The costs shown on the EPC are higher than my actual energy bills for the year. Why?

EPCs use standardised assumptions so as to make properties directly comparable while still reflecting the features of individual properties. The EPC costs are based on a number of assumptions: a standardised heating pattern, number of occupants, hot water usage, etc. These factors vary appreciably between different households even if living in similar properties.

11.) Why are the energy costs shown on the front page of my EPC lower than my energy bills?

Standard occupancy is used to ensure the EPCs can be compared by prospective buyers or tenants with other homes. The EPC costs account for energy used for heating, lighting and hot water, but do not include for other energy uses in a property, for example cooking or electrical appliances. An EPC is calculated based on standard occupancy rather than how an individual uses the property and appliance use can vary significantly between users.

13.) I have added insulation to my house, but the rating is low and the insulation is not shown on the EPC, why is this?

The energy assessment is non-invasive. For insulation to be included in the assessment there must be evidence, either visual or documentary, of specific works relating to the property being assessed. If insulation has been added but there is no access for the energy assessor to observe it or relevant documentary evidence, it cannot be included. In these cases the level of insulation is assumed based on the age of the relevant part of the dwelling. This applies to roof insulation, floor insulation and wall insulation. Please therefore make the assessor aware of existing energy saving measures to ensure these are included in their assessment of your property.

15.) I have what I believe to be a highly efficient LPG/oil heating system in my property. However in the summary section of my EPC my ‘Main Heating’ has an ‘energy efficiency’ of only 2 or 3 stars. Why?

The ‘Energy Efficiency’ column in the summary section of the EPC is related to the cost of running the heating system. This takes into account a three year rolling average price of the fuel used and the efficiency of the heating appliances. The Energy Efficiency column informs the consumer about the heating system purely from a cost perspective. The descriptions in the column therefore change depending on the fuel used and the efficiency of the heating system. For example, a gas condensing boiler will have 4 or 5 stars, whereas an oil boiler of the same efficiency will have 3 and an LPG boiler of the same efficiency will have 2.

16.) I have a very modern electric heating system in my home. However, in the summary section of my EPC ‘Main Heating’ has an energy efficiency rating of only 1 star. Why?

The Energy Efficiency column in the summary section of the EPC is related to the cost of running the heating system. This takes into account the price of the fuel used (per kWh) and the efficiency of the heating system. Electricity is significantly more expensive than mains gas, which is one of the cheapest forms of fuel.

For example, if a home has a mains gas boiler it will cost less to run than an electric boiler or electric storage heaters. The Energy Efficiency column informs the consumer about the heating system purely from a cost perspective. The ratings in the table will vary depending on the fuel used and the efficiency of the heating system.

Even though an electric heating system may be 100% efficient at the point of use, turning all the electricity used into useful heat, it will still be more expensive for a home owner to run than a 65% efficient mains gas boiler. A gas boiler will have heat losses associated in converting the burning fuel into useful heat for the property, but these losses are outweighed by the lower cost of mains gas.

17.) My property is heated by conventional electric heaters. The EPC recommends the installation of storage heaters. The change makes the Environmental Impact Rating worse rather than better. Why?

Storage heaters are recommended as they are cheaper to run, making use of low-rate night-time electricity. However the total amount of electricity used by a storage heater system is greater than that used by conventional panel heaters.

Therefore the resultant Energy Efficiency Rating is improved as running costs are reduced but the Environmental Impact Rating is made slightly worse as the total amount of energy used increases.

18.) My recent EPC makes the recommendation of changing my current boiler to a new condensing boiler, but I have only recently had my boiler changed. Why?

The EPC provides an indication of the potential energy performance of the property and in this case has identified that the current boiler is not the most efficient boiler available. The recommendation to improve the boiler to a more energy efficient boiler is made purely on the energy efficiency rating of the boiler and is not a reflection of the age or condition of the currently installed boiler. This recommendation identifies that there are more efficient boilers available and that a homeowner should consider this when they next have to replace the boiler.

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