Buildings are a major consumer of energy. Almost 50% of energy consumption in the UK is through the everyday use of the current building stock.
Research has indicated that by improving energy efficiency, carbon emissions from buildings could be reduced by 22%. This will help the UK meet its climate change objectives under the Kyoto agreement, as well as improve the energy performance of new and existing buildings (12% reduction by 2012 on 1990 figures).
Why Are Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) Needed?
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) imposed the implementation of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for most property, whether commercial or residential over 50 m², with only a few exceptions.
An EPC provides a rating from A+ to G, rather like those seen on white goods for many years, based upon the estimated amount of carbon emitted from the building using a notional comparable building as a benchmark. This will vary considerably depending on such things as construction type, age, mechanical and electrical services within and even orientation or location.
The Certificate also gives a rating of a similar building if it were built to current regulations and a rating for typical existing stock for similar buildings in the same class. This empowers prospective buyers or tenants to allow informed decisions to be made on a particular assets prior to purchase or lease.
It is worthy of note that a property built to 2010 Building Regulations is likely to achieve a C rating, with only the most carefully designed buildings achieving better, however it is possible a well insulated period building with efficient replacement boilers and light fittings can also achieve very good ratings. However, if the period building is listed, the property no longer requires an EPC for sales or lettings.
Each EPC will also include a schedule of recommendations which could be carried out to improve the performance of the building. While there is no requirement for implementation of any of these recommendations, we advise they should at least be considered to improve the efficiency of the building concerned. Green Deal Finance is only available on items which are included within the recommendation report.
It is also worth mentioning that the Energy Act 2011 stipulates that from April 2018 it will be unlawful to let a building with an F or G Rating. We are providing EPC audits now to prevent this from being a problem later.