Handy EPC Tips
How to get the best energy rating on your EPC
To ensure the integrity of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) , a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) has to gather photographic or documentary evidence of the data that is entered into the software. If visible or documentary evidence isn’t available, the Assessor has to enter “Unknown” into the software, which generally makes the EPC rating lower.
DEAs are continually audited by their accreditation body to ensure they have evidence of the information that they have input into the software.
Your assessor will gather the following information about the property:
- Dimensions of the property
- Age of the property and any extensions
- Type of Lighting
- Type of Glazing
- Type of Heating
- Amount of Insulation present
- Any renewables present
These are the things that will help your Assessor on the visit
Make all rooms accessible
Your Assessor will need access to all rooms within the property, help by making sure this is possible.
Make sure access to the loft is possible
Your assessor will have their own access equipment to get into the loft. If your hatch is in an awkward place such as in a cupboard, above a bed, or above a wardrobe etc, your Assessor may not be able to determine the exact amount of insulation in the loft. The Assessor will then have to enter the description “Unknown” into the software. The software will then use the building regulations of the age of the property to make an assumption of what would have been in the loft when it was built according to the building regulations at the time. In most cases this will significantly lower the energy rating of the property.
Make sure access to the boiler is possible
The Assessor will have to get the model of your boiler. If this is in a restricted place, help by making access possible, or by providing the boiler manual with the boiler ID if you have it.
Gas and Electric meters
Make sure these are accessible.
Hot Water Cylinder
If you have one, make sure that any clothes or stored items are not blocking its view. Your assessor will need to see the amount of insulation on the tank, whether it is a single or dual immersion, and whether it has a thermostat around the base.
It would help your Assessor if you have any guarantees, if you have had cavity wall insulation or a Fensa certificate if you have had windows installed.
Year built of any Extensions
If you have had any extensions built, documentary evidence of year built would be useful, such as any completion certificates from the local authority or receipt showing year from your builder. Documentary evidence of year constructed for any loft conversions is particularly important.
Floor insulation and internal wall insulation
These are not usually possible for an Assessor to get visible photographic evidence, so again any documentary evidence you have would be useful.
Now this one has always been somewhat problematic. The EPC conventions state that the thickness of the loft insulation must be visible over at least 75% of the loft area before an Assessor can enter the depth of insulation into the software. If the insulation can’t be seen and measured, for example if it’s full of belongings or fully boarded, then the Assessor has to enter “Unknown” into the software. In cases where some of the loft is boarded and some of the insulation is visible then the property can be spilt and each section dealt with separately.
Because it’s not usually practical for customers to lift the boards, these scenarios tend to rate the insulation on the EPC lower than it may really be. As previously mentioned, the software will use the building regulations of the loft insulation based on the year the property was built. So for example, if the loft was boarded in a 1940’s house it will assume no loft present and in a 1980’s house it will assume 150mm insulation. However, loft insulation would not show as a recommendation on the EPC. Again documentary evidence of what depth insulation under the boards is possible to use but is usually not available.
If you have had any Renewable Technologies installed
If you have had any solar pv, solar thermal, or heat pumps installed, then you should have been given an MCS certificate from your installer. If you have one, show it to your Assessor. This will ensure that the product you have had installed meets a certain minimum standard and this will improve the energy rating.
Even if you can’t find or produce any of the information mentioned above, an EPC can still be conducted on the property, but the rating is likely to be lower. The Assessor won’t need to see any service records, as the EPC doesn’t take into account the condition of any particular item. Unfortunately the Assessor can’t use information verbally told to them by the customer. Only photographic or documentary evidence can be used to produce the EPC.
The two biggest things that make an impact on the EPC are the heating and the insulation. So evidence for these two elements will help you most.
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