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EPC Solar PV requirements. Energy Performance Certificates – what are EPC’s?

Filed under: Latest News

EPC and solar PV.

Energy Performance Certificates – what they are…

Where can I perform “what new EPC rating do I get if I install solar PV” calculations? Will I get level D? The answer is “quite often” but not always.

This is an edited extract from the yougov website.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) say how energy efficient (or otherwise!) your home is. EPC’s also help to show how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your energy costs, such as by insulating them better or by fitting solar panels, whether solar PV or solar solar thermal.

All homes that are bought, sold or rented in UK require an EPC.

Solar PV installations also need an EPC showing that level D or higher (ie ABCD) is reached by 1 April 2013.

Here is an example of energy efficiency rating graph for homes

Energy Performance Certificates – what they tell you

How to get an EPC for a solar PV installation, or for any other purpose

EPCs contain:

  • information on your home’s energy use and typical energy costs
  • a recommendation report with suggestions to reduce energy use and save money
  • details of the person who carried out the EPC assessment
  • who to contact if you want to make a complaint

Energy use and potential savings

EPCs carry ratings that compare the current energy efficiency and estimated costs of energy use with potential figures that your home could achieve. Potential figures are calculated by estimating what the energy efficiency and energy costs could be if energy saving measures were put in place. The whole lot is done as a calculation using software called RD-SAP.

The rating measures the energy efficiency of your home using a grade from ‘A’ to ‘G’. An ‘A’ rating is the most efficient, while ‘G’ is the least efficient. The average efficiency grade to date is ‘D’. All homes are measured using the same calculations, so you can compare the energy efficiency of different properties.

The EPC recommendation report

EPCs also provide a detailed recommendation report showing some ways how you could reduce the amount of energy you use and your carbon dioxide emissions. The report lists:

  • suggested improvements, like fitting loft insulation
  • possible cost savings per year, if the improvements are made
  • how the recommendations would change the energy efficiency rating of the property
  • which improvements may be eligible for funding through the Green Deal (for more information, see ‘The Green Deal’ section further down this page)

You don’t have to act on the recommendations in the recommendation report. However, if you decide to do so, it could make your property more attractive for sale or rent by making it more energy efficient.

Make your own recommendation report:

where can I perform “what new EPC rating do I get if I install solar PV” calculations?

This bit is really fun! But you do need to have an EPC first. It’s a “what-if” simulator. EPC Adviser is an online tool that shows you how you can make your home more energy-efficient. You just need your EPC reference number and it will calculate how much money and carbon you can save.

You’ll get an instant report that you can change depending on what you would like to do to your home. For example, you might be planning to add loft insulation for solar panels of a certain size. If  you add that, you’ll see how much money you could save. Also whether you can rise up to band D if you are below it for FIT eligibility purposes. You can try as many different combinations as you like before you view your results for total cost and energy savings.

What an EPC looks like

Information about energy efficiency is summarised in a chart that shows the energy efficiency rating. The chart looks similar to those supplied on electrical appliances, like fridges and washing machines. To see an example of an Energy Performance Certificate, use the link below.

  • Download an example of an Energy Performance Certificate (PDF, 217KB) Opens new window

How to get an EPC and how long they’re valid for

An EPC is valid for ten years

You should receive an EPC when you enquire about buying or renting a home. You’ll need to provide one if you are selling or letting your home. An EPC is valid for ten years.

See ‘Getting an Energy Performance Certificate’ for information about how and when to get an EPC and how much they cost.

Which buildings need an EPC

An EPC is required when a building is built, rented or sold.

A building is defined as a structure with a roof and walls which uses energy to ‘condition an indoor climate’. This means it has heating, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation. The building can either be a whole building or part of a building that has been designed or altered to be used separately. If a building is made up of separate units, such as flats, each with its own heating system, each unit will need an EPC.

For more details of when and which types of buildings require an EPC, read ‘Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings’.

Which buildings don’t need an EPC

The following buildings don’t need an EPC when they are built, rented or sold:

  • places of worship
  • temporary buildings to be used for less than two years
  • standalone buildings with total useful floor area of less than 50 square metres that aren’t used to provide living accommodation for a single household
  • industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
  • holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy

Comparing your home’s EPC to other homes

You can look at the EPCs of other properties on the EPC register website. This lets you compare your home’s energy performance with that of similar homes free of charge.

If you don’t want other people to be able to see your EPC on the EPC register, you can opt out.

EPCs for business premises

Owners of all commercial buildings also have to provide an EPC when they sell or let commercial premises. For more information about this, follow the link below to the Business Link website.

The Green Deal

The Green Deal launches soon. It may be able to help you make the property you live in warmer, more energy efficient and cheaper to run, without having to pay for the work upfront.

You choose which eligible energy saving improvements you want to make to your home. You then pay for the improvements over time through your electricity bill, at a level no greater than the estimated savings to energy bills.

If you move home, the Green Deal charge stays with the property and the repayments pass to the new bill payer.

You can apply whether you’re a tenant or an owner and you might be eligible for extra help if your household gets income-related benefits.

For more information, see the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) website.

The Green Deal: DECC

The above is an edited extract from the yougov website which is Crown Copyright and it is used with permission.


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