Energy Performance FAQ's
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
Since 1st October 2008 an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has been required for every sale or letting of a non-domestic (industrial, office, retail, leisure) property apart from a small number of exceptions (See below). AN EPC is an assessment of a building’s existing and potential energy efficiency
These assessments are carried out by qualified assessors who appraise the exact dimensions of walls, doors and windows, age, use, lighting and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) along with their associated controls. A 3D CAD model is then created and the various U-values applied. The use of the zone, lighting and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) is then added in and the final rating calculated expressed as A to G with A being optimal.
For more information from the Government please read their guide which can be downloaded free here:-
A guide to energy performance certificates for the marketing, sale and let of dwellings (publishing.service.gov.uk)
What is an EPC?
EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is on a scale of A-G with G being the worst. With few exceptions they are needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented (including lease renewals) and are valid for 10 years.
Are any buildings exempt?
- Places of worship
- Temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
- Stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50 square metres. If the property joins onto another building such as a flat above or an adjoining shop it is NOT self-contained or exempt
- Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy. Examples would be a boatyard with no offices or WC. As soon as either of these are included (even of unheated) an EPC is required
- Some buildings that are due to be demolished – Consent for redevelopment needs to be granted , not just applied for
- holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
- listed buildings where energy efficiency improvements 'would unacceptably alter it'. In practice most buildings can be improved by LED lighting or an upgraded heating system
- residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
- EPCs are not needed for:-
- compulsory purchase orders,
- sales of shares in a company, which does not involve the sale of the building in which that company is located, where buildings remain in company ownership
- lease surrenders
- There may be other types of transaction that it might be argued do not require an EPC, for example, living accommodation at a workplace and tied to a job, or not-for-value transactions, but this will depend on the individual circumstances of any case
If in doubt please get in touch with us for more advice as the fines for not having an EPC can be punitive
How quickly do I need an EPC?
Within 7 days of going to the market. If this is not possible there is a 21 day ‘grace period’
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
Since April 2018 it has been unlawful to grant or renew leases on properties which do not fall into the A to E bracket of EPC rating. From April 1st 2023 ALL EPCs for rented properties need to be E or better. This applies where existing EPCs are an F or G. For some reason there is a loophole in that if an F or G EPC has expired or the property has never had one the April deadline is not applicable. We suspect that this may not last but as at March 2023 it is in place...
Here is a link to more detailed guidance from our accrediting body
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) - Elmhurst Energy
SAP and SBEM calculations
Standard Assessment Procedures (SAP) for residential and Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) for non-domestic are required for Part L of a Building Regulations application and use the proposed specification, not normally requiring a site visit.
Display Energy Certificates (DECs)
Display Energy Certificates (DECs) show the actual energy usage for publicly owned buildings and are based on the gas and electricity used, balanced against the heated area of the building. For the first inspection an Advisory Report (AR) is also produced showing how to improve the energy rating. A DEC lasts for 1 year and must be updated annually. The AR lasts for 7 years.
TM44 air-conditioning reports
Since 2011 such reports have been obligatory for buildings with air-conditioning systems over 12kW. The aim is to identify inefficient units and older equipment using R22 and other banned refrigerant replacement programmes.
Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)
This scheme affects companies with more than 250 employees or a turnover in excess of 50m Euros.These companies were required to review their total energy use including buildings, transport and industrial processes. The official deadline was 5th December 2015 for Phase 1 although a ‘grace period’ was granted to 29th January 2016 to enable companies to catch up.