How to Read Your Energy Performance Certificate

If you are buying, selling, or renting out a property in the UK, you will be aware that the building must have an up to date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). You can get an EPC by visiting EPC London today. An EPC is a certificate which is issued following an assessment by specialist assessors, which effectively gives new buyers or tenants (or owner, if they wish) an idea of how energy efficient the building it. It is a legal document and will last for 10 years until it is updated earlier.

So now that you have your energy performance certificate, what is it telling you? An EPC can give you some important information about how energy efficient the place is, giving you an idea into how much you are affecting the environment and how high those ever-growing energy bills might be.

Basic Information

The first section gives basic information about the property and the survey. It will state the address of the property, type of dwelling, a reference number (generated when the certificate is added to the national database), the dates of the assessment, and the issue of the certificate and the floor area.

It is important that all of this data is accurate, and if you find that there is something wrong here, you must go back to the company who carried out your energy survey.

Energy Costs

The next section gives you details about the costs of energy of the property compared to an average household of the same house type and floor area.

The survey uses the information provided by the DEA into thermal properties of the walls, roof and floor, and estimations are made according to SAP methodology.

The report will give you the estimated energy costs for three years for an average household similar to yours, how much money you could save (or not!) over three years, and their estimation of your energy costs for your home over three years.

You will get a breakdown of these energy costs through lighting, heating and hot water, giving you a good indication of what you could improve on.

Energy Efficiency Rating

This section gives you an overall energy efficiency rating for the property – a quick and easy way to get a feel for the energy efficiency of the building. The rating goes from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient, and G being the least. It will also give you an indication of the property’s potential rating as well.

The energy efficiency rating is based on the most recent SAP documents. These change over time and can sometimes mean that the property goes down in the rating.

Top actions to make your home more energy efficient

This section is where the assessor can give you some recommendations on how to make your home more energy efficient. The measures that could be taken are listed down the left-hand side, along with an estimated cost of the works. You are then given an estimates cost saving over 3 years and finally an indication of whether the Green Deal could help you to finance these improvements.

The green tick means that you could be eligible for Green Deal finance, and an orange tick means that you could be eligible but would need to pay some of it yourself as well.

Summary of Property Features and Star Rating

This summary of the property features shows you the main elements of the property which are related to its energy efficiency. These can include the roof and wall construction type, or the kind of windows that you have.

The star rating then gives you an idea of how energy efficient the element is (except for floors and secondary heating which aren’t given a rating). The star rating is based on its u-value, with the more stars, the more energy efficient. Each element has its own criteria for its u-value and therefore star rating.

The primary energy use shows the amount of energy which is used to produce 1kW of power within the household. This is just for your information and doesn’t have an impact on the energy rating.

Recommended and Alternative Measures

Here you will get more information about the recommended measures that you can take to improve the property’s energy efficiency – including the possible savings and whether it can be included in the Green Deal finance.

You will also be given some alternative measures which you might want to consider to be able to make your property more energy efficient.

Following this, you will be given the full details of the energy assessor and how to contact them for any clarification. You will also be given an indication of the impact of your property on the environment as well as it’s potential, your homes’ heat demand – showing how it could be improved with wall and loft insulation, and, in the ‘Addendum’ section, any additional notes.

To be able to make the most out of the EPC it is important to be able to understand it properly. With a good understanding of what it is saying, you can make important decisions about whether to buy a property, its impact on the environment or help you to save money on energy bills.

Contact our EPC London, EPC Glasgow, or any other EPC Office for more information.