To qualify for the top FIT rate for a Solar PV installation a domestic residence requires at least a "D" rating. This can be applied retrospectivley if fitting solar PV brings the rating into "D" after the solar installation has been fitted.

We are proud to say that Lewis Woolf is Solar Energy Alliance Ltd's qualified Energy Performance assesor.

What's an EPC? An Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) is the Government's chosen way of complying with the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD).

Its purpose is to record how energy efficient a property is.

The certificate will provide a rating of the energy efficiency and CO2 emissions of a building from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient. EPCs are produced using standard methods with standard assumptions about energy usage so that the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another building of the same type.

 

This allows prospective buyers, tenants, owners, occupiers and purchasers to see information on the energy efficiency and CO2 emissions from their building so they can consider energy efficiency and fuel costs as part of their investment.

 

An EPC is always accompanied by a recommendation report that lists cost effective and other measures (such as low and zero carbon generating systems) to improve the energy rating of the building. The certificate is also accompanied by information about the rating that could be achieved if all the recommendations were implemented.

 

Much like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They let the person who will use the building know how costly it will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be. The EPC will also state what the energy efficiency rating could be if improvements are made, and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating.

 

Even if you rent your home, some improvements noted on the EPC might be worth your while - such as switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs.Once produced, EPCs are valid for ten years.How does an EPC work? The EPC rates the home's performance in terms of energy use per square metre of floor area, energy efficiency based on fuel costs, and environmental impact based on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This provides an energy efficiency rating and an environmental impact (CO2) rating. There are seven bands for both of these ratings, from A to G. The energy efficiency rating is colour-coded from green to red, with the green end of the scale indicating that the home is very energy efficient, with lower running costs, and the red end of the scale indicating it is not energy efficient and has higher running costs.

 

There is also a numerical rating from 1 - 100. The bigger the number the more energy efficient the home is and the lower the fuel bills will be.The environmental impact rating is colour-coded from blue to grey, signifying 'very environmentally friendly - lower CO2 emissions' at the blue end of the scale through to 'not environmentally friendly - higher CO2 emissions' at the grey end. Again, there is a numerical rating, from 1 - 100, and the bigger the number, the less impact the house has on the environment.Estimated fuel costsThe EPC assessor uses standardised assumptions about the home's occupancy, heating patterns and geographical location to construct a table that indicates how much it will cost to provide lighting, heating and hot water to this dwelling. Detailed performance summary Having provided details of actual and potential energy use and cost outlay, the EPC provides a summary of the home's energy performance-related features. These include walls, roof, floor, windows, main heating, heating controls, secondary heating (if applicable), hot water and lighting.Each element is assessed against the following scale: Very poor/Poor/Average/Good/Very good. So, for example, your wall might be described as: Cavity wall, as built (no insulation). It would then probably be described as 'poor' for its performance in terms of both energy efficiency and environmental impact. A pitched roof with 250mm loft insulation, however, might warrant being described as 'good'.If there was low energy lighting in 75% of fixed outlets, this would rank as 'very good' by both measures.After taking all the individual ratings into account, the assessor would decide the home's overall energy efficiency and environmental impact ratings as shown in the colour-coded charts.For a full example of an energy performance certificate, visit the DirectGov website or EPC recommendationsThe EPC provides a list of suggested measures to achieve cost effective improvements to performance ratings.

 

The table outlines the typical savings per year and the potential performance ratings after the improvements have been made. The improvements are divided into 'lower cost measures' of up to £500 and 'higher cost measures' for larger amounts.>So, for example, low cost measures such as fitting cavity wall insulation might achieve a typical annual saving of over £400, while installing low energy lighting in all fixed outlets would deliver a saving of over £11. High cost measures might include fitting a hot water cylinder thermostat or replacing an old boiler with a more efficient model. Further suggestions - for example, fitting double glazing and solar heating panels - are included for those aiming for the highest possible standards for their home.

Explanatory text is provided on each measure to help the reader decide what is involved in taking the suggested action. This includes information on which improvements may be eligible for funding through the government's Green Deal (see below). There is no requirement to act on the recommendations in the report. However, doing so could make the property more attractive for sale or rent by making it more energy efficient.Energy Performance Certificates or EPC certificates have been around in one shape or another since2008.  However, they still remain a mystery for most members of the general public who see them more as a bureaucratic overhead than a document that could help them save the planet as well as hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills.  The following guide sets out to answer some basic questions and help the reader understand why they should ask to see the EPC whenever they look at a prospective home.

 

What is an EPC? EPC is a five-page document that contains information about a property and how efficiently it uses energy.  It is produced using a standard layout and uses standardized measures, usage patterns and performance criteria to enable properties of all shapes and sizes, ages and configurations to be compared objectively in terms of a) their energy consumption and b) their impact on the environment.

 

What information does an EPC contain? The EPC contains a number of sections:The Energy Efficiency Rating and Environmental Impact(CO2) Rating>These are the charts that most people will be used to seeing and which are often, mistakenly, referred to as “The EPC”.  Whilst very important, they only constitute a small part of the whole document.  They provide a simple snapshot of how well the property does in terms of its energy efficiency and its carbon footprint today and how well it could perform if the recommendations contained in the EPC are put in place. Estimated energy use, carbon dioxide(CO2) emissions and fuel costsThe figures in this table are provided to enable prospective buyers and tenants to compare the fuel costs and carbon emissions of one home with another, both today and if the recommendations contained in the EPC are put in place.  To enable the comparison, the figures are calculated using standardised running conditions such as heating periods, occupancy, room temperatures etc.  As a result they are unlikely to match an occupier’s actual fuel bills and carbon emissions.

 

  The figures do not include the impacts of the fuels used for cooking or running appliances such as a fridge or TVs etc, nor do they reflect the costs associated with servicing, maintenance or safety inspections.  One important thing to remember is that the costs will reflect the prevailing costs when the EPC was produced so it is important to check the EPC date because fuel prices change over time and energy saving recommendations will evolve. Recommendations All of the actions detailed in this section are cost effective, ie they will generate savings over time which will more than repay their cost.  Recommendations are split into Lower Cost Measures (typically costing less than £500) and higher cost measures (£500 or more).  These recommendations are specific to the property and for each action an indicative cost is given along with the typical annual savings that could be expected.  An example of a Lower Cost Measure could be switching to low energy lighting whilst and Higher Cost Measure could be installing a new condensing boiler.

 

Further Measures

These are actions that should be considered to those already specified if aiming for the highest possible standards for this home.  A typical example could be installing solar water heating or photovoltaic panels.Summary of the property’s energy performance related features This section gives an assessment of the key individual elements that have an impact on the property’s energy and environmental performanceand includes factors such as wall construction, the roof, floor. Windows, heating, hot water and lighting. Supplementary information, actions and advicThe last page of the EPC certificate gives some more information on the recommendations and further measures as well as providing some more ideas to help you save money and reduce the impact of your home on the environment.