In 1086 when King William the Conqueror commissioned “Great Survey” to assess his power and taxes due after a wholesale redistribution of land under previous predecessor
At the beginning of the 21st century an even bigger survey had been ordered by The UK government, however for completely different reasons.
The energy performance certificates have been introduced as one of the measures that would allow Great Britain to achieve ambitious target of reducing country’s CO2 emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. This would require reducing domestic CO2 emissions by at least 3% per year. One of the ways to successfully achieve the target on domestic level is by implementation of the measures which directly reduce the heat loss of the property.
The EPCs are conveyed by trained assessors whose task is to determine the energy efficiency of the property under assessment as well as resulting from this the energy use carbon emissions.
The key elements inspected by domestic energy assessors are loft insulation, type of wall and its insulation, floor type and insulation, glazing, lighting, heating system, water heating systems, renewable technologies (if available) and so on.
After sampling the property, the gathered data is the input into the software which calculates the score for energy efficiency and CO2 emissions.
The score is placed on a scale which ranges from A to G and 0 -100. The higher the score, the better the efficiency of the property and lower the CO2 emissions. The energy performance certificate also includes summary of the property’s energy performance features, recommended measures, their costs and savings, rating after improvement and potential impact on the environment.
Since the assessment cannot be invasive by character, the assessors must not drill walls or ceilings to determine the state or even existence of any insulation. In such circumstances it is highly recommended for the vendors and landlords to provide any information and documentation (planning permission and plans, installation certificates or manufacturers specification) that relate to improvements or determine the character of the property or added extensions if applicable.
In the situation when an assessor cannot acquire a specific sample or does not receive any supporting evidence from the owners of the property, the assumptions based on the building regulations for the time of construction of the property or extension will be taken instead.
This may lead to uncertainty and undermines the validity of the energy performance of a given property.
From April 1018 the rules for rental properties have changed and it is mandatory for the landlords to meet new criteria of minimum score E before letting the property out.
Properties with score E and G are considered unsuitable for letting purposes. There are however, few exemptions to this rule and the owners of listed buildings which often are barred from introduction of any external improvements to keep the original character of the building can let their properties. Same applies to the properties which are not going to be inhabited for longer than 4 months in the year or are to be demolished are also exempt from this rule.
For more information about energy performance certificates visit: https://www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performance-certificates
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