Energy Performance Certificates Explained

The EPC looks broadly similar to the energy labels provided on many household appliances. Its purpose is to indicate how energy efficient a building is. The EPC will provide an energy efficiency rating from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is the least efficient. The better the rating, the more energy efficient the building is, and the lower the fuel bills are likely to be. Each energy efficiency rating is based on the characteristics of the building itself (the fabric) and its services (such as heating, ventilation and lighting). This type of rating is known as an asset rating. The asset rating will reflect the age and condition of the building.

The EPC includes recommendations to help owners and occupiers to improve the energy efficiency of a building. The recommendations include cost effective improvements and further improvements (that achieve higher standards but are not necessarily cost effective). For each recommendation the indicative cost, typical cost savings and the performance rating after improvement are listed. The potential rating shown on the EPC is based on all cost-effective recommendations being implemented. The EPC will assess the energy efficiency of services which are present in the building. It will not comment on the safety aspects or maintenance of the services nor will the assessment confirm that the installed system is fit for purpose.

The regulations state the minimum information that an EPC must contain, including:

  • The asset rating for the building
  • A reference value (benchmark)
  • A recommendation report, unless there is no reasonable potential for energy performance improvements
  • The relevant reference number
  • The address of the building
  • An estimate of the building’s total useful floor area
  • The date on which it was issued