Energy Performance Certificates
Under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Energy Performance Certificates are now required for all residential and commercial buildings which are constructed, sold or let. They are intended to inform potential buyers ot tenants about a buildings energy performance so they can consider energy efficiency as part of their decision to buy or occupy that building.
All EPCs are stored in a national register. The register is the official place for the storage of all EPCs and is the single source of EPC information for a building. Once EPCs have been registered they cannot be altered. An EPC may be valid for up to 10 years.
Energy Performance Certificates can only be lodged by registered Energy Assessors (EAs) who have undertaken specific training and passed examinations to demonstrate competency. The Brodie Partnership’s Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEAs) are registered with the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers accreditation scheme, and are all qualified Building Services Engineers and Low Carbon Consultants.
The EPC looks broadly similar to the energy labels now provided with vehicles and many household appliances. Its purpose is to indicate how energy efficient a building is. The certificate will provide an energy rating of the building 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. The energy performance of the building is shown as a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) based index.
Each energy rating is based on the characteristics of the building itself and its services. Hence this type of rating is known as an asset rating. The asset ratings will reflect considerations including the age and condition of the building. It is accompanied by a recommendation report, which provides recommendations on using the building more effectively, cost effective improvements to the building and other more expensive improvements which could enhance the building’s energy performance.
An EPC will provide an energy rating for a building which is based upon the performance potential of the building itself (the fabric) and its services (such as heating, ventilation and lighting). The energy rating given on the certificate reflects the intrinsic energy performance standard of the building relative to a benchmark, which can then be used to make comparisons with comparable properties.
Obtaining An EPC
To provide an EPC would typically require a site survey to inspect any available record information, and survey the building fabric and M & E services. Where the sizes and details of the building fabric and services can be determined, these will be noted. Where these are not obvious, default values and best guess will be used for the software input. The surveyor will input what can be seen, and use reasonable judgement where they can’t. In existing buildings, the exact fabric constructions and M & E plant efficiencies etc, can be very difficult to establish. Use of the default values in the software tends to give a lower rating.
The recommendation report produced will give generic guidance as to the improvements that are possible.
Need a Quotation?
We are accredited Low Carbon Energy Assessors and On Construction Domestic Energy Assessors and can provide Energy Performance Certificates for both new build domestic and all commercial properties.
For a quotation, more information or a copy of our EPC Guidance note please call or email Paul Brodie
Survey and Data Input
The information required to produce an EPC includes:
• The individual spaces or zones in use within the building, and their dimensions (either as verified from plans or as measured). This information is most readily provided by building plans.
• The activities conducted within the zones. Examples of zones include retail space, office space, kitchens, etc.
• The heating and ventilation services for each zone (including type of system, metering, controls, fuel used etc.)
• The lighting and controls used for each zone.
• The make-up of the fabric of the building and thermal efficiency of the materials used: roof, floors, walls and glazing.
The information is input into the Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) software and a computer model of the building, complete with floor, walls, windows, doors, roof etc is constructed. The M & E services details are input into the software, and this enables the program to calculate the energy used.
The input data requires accurate building plans and elevations, preferably in an AutoCAD compatible format. If these are not available, we can undertake a measured survey of the building to produce them.
Constructional details for the ground floor, walls, windows and roof, and specifically the U values of these elements are required. If the constructions are unknown, the Energy Assessor will make a best guess assumption of the U value for the purposes of the calculations.
Details of the room uses are required, as the SBEM software uses these to calculate the energy use of the area.
Details of the M & E services and types of system are required, particularly for lighting, heating, hot water, ventilation and cooling. Without undertaking fairly detailed calculations, it is not possible to input actual figures for lighting and ventilations efficiencies. Therefore, the program’s default values are used unless calculations are specifically requested, and included within our quotation. Use of the default values will tend to give a lower asset rating.
EPC Calculation and Recommendations Report
When the data is input, the calculation can be run. This will give the energy efficiency rating of the building.
The software automatically provides a recommendations report. This gives generic advice on improvements which could be made to the building and the M & E services. The LCEA will add specific recommendations as appropriate to the building.
The EPC is lodged by the LCEA on the central registry website. The EPC can be viewed on the website, by using the unique access code.
The CIBSE accreditation scheme lodgment costs are currently £30 per Certificate.