What do you need to know?
If you are thinking of buying, selling, or renting property you may have heard the three letters “EPC” floating around - or if you haven’t, you will. We spoke to an expert EPC assessor to answer all your questions about the Energy Performance Certificate below.
The certificate is prepared for a property in order to display the rate of energy use within the building. Currently legislation requires all buildings that are designed, sold, or rented to have an EPC. This document shows the calculated energy use rating and includes recommendations for reducing energy use inefficiencies in the building.
Apart from the EPC, an additional building compliance declaration has to be drawn up by the responsible architect or engineer showing that a new building (or a building undergoing a major renovation) complies with the minimum energy performance requirements set out in Technical Document F (Parts 1 and 2). This declaration is at the moment issued independently of the Planning Authority Compliance Certificate.
All property adverts must carry an EPC rating unless an exemption applies.
What does EPC mean?
EPC stands for ‘Energy Performance Certificate’. A certificate displays the energy use and carbon dioxide emissions of a building per square metre over a whole year.
How is a rating generated?
The rating is generated by means of a series of calculations performed by the assessor. These calculations take into consideration several factors such as:
- Building orientation
- Heat transmission through glazing, walls, floors and roofs.
- Fixed lighting
- Heating & cooling systems
- Hot water storage
- Rainwater storage and use
- Renewable energy systems such as photovoltaics and solar water heaters.
Interchangeable plug-in household appliances, such as fridges, dishwashers, washing machines, TVs, and other appliances, cannot be included in the calculations. This is because they can easily be changed and updated by the owner.
What is the aim of the EPC regulation?
The EPC legislation was created with the ultimate aim of lowering carbon dioxide emissions from the building sector. This will lead to personal financial savings and an improvement in the environment and our quality of life.
Who needs to obtain the certificate?
A person who intends to sell, construct, substantially modify or rent a property must present an EPC. This must be presented to the prospective buyer or tenant during the promise of sale, or to the Building Regulation Office just prior to obtaining a full development permit from the Planning Authority in the case of new buildings. There are two types of certificates: those for dwellings (such as homes) and non-dwellings (such as offices) and this is because the functionality and use of the building categories is so different.
There are just a few exceptions to which the EPC rules do not apply:
- A Grade 1 or Grade 2 scheduled property
- Temporary buildings with time of use less than 2 years
- Buildings with an area of less than 50m2
- Places of worship
- Buildings used by the water and electricity corporations for generation, transmission or distribution of electricity, water and drainage.
Who can provide an EPC?
Only a licensed assessor who is registered and authorised by the Building Regulation Office (BRO) can provide a certificate.
What are the costs involved?
The BRO charges a €75 registration fee on each certificate. The assessor shall charge his/her professional fee.
When do I need to redo the certificate?
The EPC is valid for 10 years. However, it will need to be done again if there is over 25% change made to the property, or a change of use.
What happens if a seller or landlord does not provide an EPC?
The owner of the property can face a penalty of between €500 and €5000 if the certificate is not presented within 60 days from the date of request.
Ideas to reduce energy consumption in buildings
- Photovoltaic panels or tiles on the roof which provide shading and the added advantage of converting light into energy
- Roof and wall insulation
- White finishes applied on roofs to reduce heat gain in summer
- Heat absorbing glass and solar films
- Double glazing for containing warmth and keeping the heat outside
- External louvers and shading devices
- Facade projections to change the orientation of windows and reduce heat gains in summer
- Time controlled or motion activated lighting
- Solar water heating
Questions? Contact Dhalia for a recommended EPC assessor, or to find out more about buying, selling, or renting property.