What's an EPC?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) tell householders about a home’s energy efficiency using A to G ratings like those used to rate fridges and boilers.

How you can make cost-effective improvements to your home?

The Certificate also makes recommendations for cost-effective improvements to help cut fuel bills and carbon dioxide emissions. Our homes currently account for 27% of the UK’s Carbon emissions, contributing to Climate Change. It is estimated that by following the recommendations in an EPC, an average of £300 a year can be saved on fuel bills. The Energy Saving Trust estimate that annual savings of up to £220 and 1.5 tonnes of CO² can be achieved by installing loft insulation. Cavity wall insulation will save up to £160 and 1 tonne of CO² with less than a 2 year payback and a 25 year (CIGA) guarantee. “A” rated condensing boilers are over 90% efficient and some older boilers are as low as 55% efficient, replacing your old boiler with a new condensing boiler and heating controls can reduce your CO² by 1.25 tonnes a year and save up to £240 (40% of your fuel bill) a year.

Why have a DEA Survey?

A survey carried out by a qualified DEA will produce an accurate rating for your home with a detailed report on what can be done and the benefits in both reduced fuel bills and carbon dioxide emissions. The average cost of a survey will be around £100 which is only a fraction of what your potential savings could be. This is an extremely small amount compared to what is spent on vehicle inspections each year - Your home deserves an Energy Performance Certificate.

Sample Energy Performance Certificate

The following is a sample Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) taken from an actual Home Information Pack (available from: www.homeinformationpacks.gov.uk ).

Energy Performance Certificates

1 Some Street
Some Town
County,
WX1 2XX

Dwelling Type:
Date of assessment:
Date of certificate:
Reference number:
Total floor area:

Detached house
10th August 2007
[dd mmmm yyyy]
0000-0000-0000-0000-0000
166 m²

This home's performance is rated in terms of the energy use per square metre of floor area, energy efficiency based on fuel costs and environmental impact based on carbon dioxide (CO²) emissions.

Energy Efficentcy Rating and Environmental Impact (CO²) Rating charts.

The energy efficiency rating is a measure of the overall efficiency of a home. The higher the rating the more energy efficient the home is and the lower the fuel bills will be.

The environmental impact rating is a measure of a home's impact on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide (CO²) emissions. The higher the rating the less impact it has on the environment.

Estimated energy use, carbon dioxide (CO²) emissions and fuel costs of this home

  Current Potential
Energy Use 453 kWh/m² per year 178 kWh/m² per year
Carbon dioxide emissions 13 tonnes per year 4.9 tonnes per year
Lighting £81 per year £65 per year
Heating £1173 per year £457 per year
Hot water £219 per year £104 per year

Based on standardised assumptions about occupancy, heating patterns and geographical location, the above table provides an indication of how much it will cost to provide lighting, heating and hot water to this home.

The fuel costs only take into account the cost of fuel and not any associated service, maintenance or safety inspection. This certificate has been provided for comparative purposes only and enables one home to be compared with another. Always check the date the certificate was issued, because fuel prices can increase over time and energy saving recommendations will evolve.

To see how this home can achieve its potential rating please see the recommended measures.

Energy Saving Recommended Award

Remember to look for the energy saving recommended logo when buying energy-efficient products. It's a quick and easy way to identify the most energy-efficient products on the market. For advice on how to take action and to find out about offers available to help make your home more energy efficient, call 0800 512 012 or visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/myhome

About this document

The Energy Performance Certificate for this dwelling was produced following an energy assessment undertaken by a qualified assessor, accredited by [scheme name], to a scheme authorised by the Government. This certificate was produced using the RdSAP 2005 assessment methodology and has been produced under the [regulations]. A copy of the certificate has been lodged on a national register.

Assessor’s accreditation number: [accredition number]
Assessor’s name: [assessor name]
Company name/trading name: [company name]
Address: [company address]
  [address continued]
Phone number: [phone]
Fax number: [fax]
E-mail address: [e-mail]
Related party disclosure: [disclosure]

If you have a complaint or wish to confirm that the certificate is genuine

Details of the assessor and the relevant accreditation scheme are on the certificate. You can get contact details of the accreditation scheme from our website at [website address] together with details of their procedures for confirming authenticity of a certificate and for making a complaint.

About the bulding's performance ratings

The ratings on the certificate provide a measure of the building's overall energy efficiency and its environmental impact, calculated in accordance with a national methodology that takes into account factors such as insulation, heating and hot water systems, ventilation and fuels used. The average energy efficiency rating for a dwelling in England and Wales is band E (rating 46).

Not all buildings are used in the same way, so energy ratings use 'standard occupancy' assumptions which may be different from the specific way you use your building. Different methods of calculation are used for homes and for other buildings. Details can be found at www.communities.gov.uk.

Buildings that are more energy efficient use less energy, save money and help protect the environment. A building with a rating of 100 would cost almost nothing to heat and light and would cause almost no carbon emissions. The potential ratings in the certificate describe how close this building could get to 100 if all the cost effective recommended improvements were implemented.

About the impact of buildings on the environment

One of the biggest contributors to global warming is carbon dioxide. The way we use energy in buildings causes emissions of carbon. The energy we use for heating, lighting and power in homes produces over a quarter of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions and other buildings produce a further one-sixth.

The average household causes about 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Adopting the recommendations in this report can reduce emissions and protect the environment. You could reduce emissions even more by switching to renewable energy sources. In addition there are many simple every day measures that will save money, improve comfort and reduce the impact on the environment, such as:

Visit the Government's website at www.communities.gov.uk to:

  • Find how to confirm the authenticity of an energy performance certificate
  • Find how to make a complaint about a certificate or the assessor who produced it
  • Learn more about the national register where this certificate has been lodged
  • Learn more about energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption

Recommended measures to improve this home's energy performance

1 Some Street Date of certificate: [dd mmmm yyyy]
Some Town Reference number: 0000-0000-0000-0000-0000
County,    
WX1 2XX    

Summary of this home’s energy performance related features

The following is an assessment of the key individual elements that have an impact on this home's performance rating. Each element is assessed against the following scale: Very poor / Poor / Average / Good / Very good.

Element Description Current performance
Energy Efficiency Environmental
Walls Cavity wall, as built (no insulation) Poor Poor
Roof Pitched, 250 mm loft insulation Good Good
Floor Solid, no insulation (assumed) - -
Windows Partial double glazing Poor Poor
Main heating Boiler and radiators, mains gas Average Average
Main heating controls Programmer, room thermostat and TRVs Average Average
Secondary heating None - -
Hot water From main system, no cylinderstat Poor Poor
Lighting Low energy lighting in 75% of fixed outlets Very good Very good
Current energy efficiency rating F 37  
Current environmental impact (CO²) rating   F 31

Recommendations

The measures below are cost effective. The performance ratings after improvement listed below are cumulative, that is they assume the improvements have been installed in the order that they appear in the table.

Lower cost measures (up to £500) Typical savings
per year
Performance ratings after improvement
Energy efficiency Environmental impact
1 Cavity wall insulation £411 E 53 E 46
2 Low energy lighting for all fixed outlets £11 E 53 E 46
Sub-total £422    
Higher cost measures (over £500)
3 Hot water cylinder thermostat £102 D 58 E 51
4 Replace boiler with
Band A condensing boiler
£323 C 73 C 69
Total £847    
Potential energy efficiency rating C 73  
Potential environmental impact (CO²) rating   C 69

Further measures to achieve even higher standards

The further measures listed below should be considered in addition to those already specified if aiming for the highest possible standards for this home.

5 Replace single glazed windows
with low-E double glazing
£40 C 75 C 71
6 Solar photovoltaics
panels, 25% of roof area
£49 C 77 C 74
Enhanced energy efficiency rating C 77  
Enhanced environmental impact (CO²) rating   C 74

Improvements to the energy efficiency and environmental impact ratings will usually be in step with each other. However, they can sometimes diverge because reduced energy costs are not always accompanied by a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

About the cost effective measures to improve this home’s performance ratings

Lower cost measures (typically up to £500 each)
These measures are relatively inexpensive to install and are worth tackling first. Some of them may be installed as DIY projects. DIY is not always straightforward, and sometimes there are health and safety risks, so take advice before carrying out DIY improvements.

1 Cavity wall insulation
Cavity wall insulation, to fill the gap between the inner and outer layers of external walls with an insulating material, reduces heat loss. The insulation material is pumped into the gap through small holes that are drilled into the outer walls, and the holes are made good afterwards. As specialist machinery is used to fill the cavity, a professional installation company should carry out this work, and they should carry out a thorough survey before commencing work to be sure that this type of insulation is right for this home. They should also provide a guarantee for the work and handle any building control issues. Further information can be obtained from National Cavity Insulation Association (http://dubois.vital.co.uk/database/ceed/cavity.html).

2 Low energy lighting
Replacement of traditional light bulbs with energy saving recommended ones will reduce lighting costs over the lifetime of the bulb, and they last up to 12 times longer than ordinary light bulbs. Also consider selecting low energy light fittings when redecorating; contact the Lighting Association for your nearest stockist of Domestic Energy Efficient Lighting Scheme fittings.

Higher cost measures (typically over £500 each)

3 Cylinder thermostat
A hot water cylinder thermostat enables the boiler to switch off when the water in the cylinder reaches the required temperature; this minimises the amount of energy that is used and lowers fuel bills. The thermostat is temperature sensor that sends a signal to the boiler when the required temperature is reached. To be fully effective it needs to be sited in the correct position and hard wired in place, so it should be installed by a competent plumber or heating engineer.

4 Band A condensing boiler
A condensing boiler is capable of much higher efficiencies than other types of boiler, meaning it will burn less fuel to heat this property. This improvement is most appropriate when the existing central heating boiler needs repair or replacement, but there may be exceptional circumstances making this impractical.
Condensing boilers need a drain for the condensate which limits their location; remember this when considering remodelling the room containing the existing boiler even if the latter is to be retained for the time being (for example a kitchen makeover). Building Regulations apply to this work, so your local authority building control department should be informed, unless the installer is registered with a competent persons scheme¹ , and can therefore self-certify the work for Building Regulation compliance. Ask a qualified heating engineer to explain the options.

About the further measures to achieve even higher standards

Further measures that could deliver even higher standards for this home.

5 Double glazing
Double glazing is the term given to a system where two panes of glass are made up into a sealed unit.
Replacing existing single-glazed windows with double glazing will improve comfort in the home by reducing draughts and cold spots near windows. Double-glazed windows may also reduce noise, improve security and combat problems with condensation. Building Regulations apply to this work, so either use a contractor who is registered with a competent persons scheme1 or obtain advice from your local authority building control department.

6 Solar photovoltaics (PV) panels
A solar PV system is one which converts light directly into electricity via panels placed on the roof with no waste and no emissions. This electricity is used throughout the home in the same way as the electricity purchased from an energy supplier. The Solar Trade Association has up-to-date information on local installers who are qualified electricians and any grant that may be available. . Planning restrictions may apply in certain neighbourhoods and you should check this with the local authority. Building Regulations apply to this work, so your local authority building control department should be informed, unless the installer is registered with a competent persons scheme¹ , and can therefore self-certify the work for Building Regulation compliance. Ask a suitably qualified electrician to explain the options.


¹ For information on competent persons schemes enter "existing competent person schemes" into an internet search engine or contact your local Energy Saving Trust advice centre on 0800 512 012.