BRE: What is an EPC? Information for Members of the Public

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What is an EPC? Information for Members of the Public


What is an EPC? Information for Members of the Public

This page is intended to provide members of the public with information regarding Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and Display Energy Certificates (DEC) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and how to find a BRE Accredited Assessor near you.  

What is an EPC?  

An EPC is an asset rating and tells you how energy efficient a building is and its impact on the environment.  A DEC is an operational rating of a building occupied by an organising providing public or quasi-public services and tells you how efficiently the current occupier uses the building.

Properties are rated on a scale of A-G where an A rating is the most energy efficient.  The England & Wales average for an existing dwelling is D60.   Homes which are rated more highly should have lower impact through their Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. The Certificate will also include recommendations on methods by which you can improve your home's energy efficiency, which can save you money and help the environment.  EPCs for commercial buildings (non-domestic) are a two-page certificate rated by Carbon Dioxide emission ratings on a scale of A-G and have a separate recommendations report.

Which type of EPC do I need?

A domestic EPC is required for each self-contained dwelling – a dwelling for a single household with exclusive use of a private bathroom and kitchen, with a separate entrance. Newly completed dwellings require a full SAP EPC. Existing dwellings require an RdSAP EPC.

Any building (or part of a building) that does not meet the definition of a self-contained dwelling will require a non-domestic EPC.

Who can produce an EPC or DEC? 

Certificates can only be produced by Energy Assessors who have been Accredited with a scheme such as BRE, we will ensure the assessor and the assessments produced are in accordance with Government guidelines.

To issue a domestic EPC for an existing dwelling the Assessor must be qualified and accredited as a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA). To issue a new dwelling EPC the Assessor must be qualified and accredited as an On-constriction Domestic Energy Assessor (OCDEA).

To issue a non-domestic EPC, the assessor must be qualified and accredited as a Non-domestic Energy Assessor for the appropriate building level (Level 3, Level 4/new build, or Level 5/new build).

To issue a DEC, the assessor must be qualified and accredited as a Public Buildings Energy Assessor.

When do I need an EPC or DEC?  

EPCs are legally required for any building that is to be put on the market for sale or for rental purposes irrespective of whether you are selling/renting privately or using an Estate Agent. It is also a requirement for any newly built properties to have an EPC upon completion of the build. It is currently the responsibility of the building owner to ensure that an EPC is available to prospective purchasers and tenants.

A new DEC is required annually and must be displayed within the building in a prominent place and must be in colour at least A3 size.

How long is an EPC valid for?

An EPC is valid for upto10 years. A property can be marketed immediately once you have commissioned an Energy Performance Certificate.  If an existing EPC is used nearing the end of its legal life (for example, 9 years and 11 months old), it will remain valid for as long as the building is continuously marketed. But if the property is temporarily taken off the market for more than 28 days, a new EPC will be required to replace it if it's more than 10 years old when you resume marketing. A new EPC supersedes an older one. 

A DEC is only valid for a year and needs to be accompanied by an Advisory Report that must not be more than 7 years old.

How do I arrange for EPCs to be undertaken?

EPCs can only be undertaken by an Accredited Energy Assessor who is a member of a government approved Accreditation Scheme. Once you have contacted an Energy Assessor they will arrange to visit the property to undertake an assessment to generate an EPC and will lodge this on to the national register: 

All Energy Assessor are issued with identity cards. Domestic Energy Assessors completing EPCs on existing dwellings additionally have a Criminal Records Bureau check.  You should ask to see their ID when they visit your property.

How do I find a BRE Assessor?

Finding an Energy Assessor who is a member of the BRE Global accreditation scheme is very easy, all assessors are listed on the Greenbook Live website.  Simply visit the website below to find a complete list of all Assessors:

How do I know that the EPC is valid?

Only EPCs which are lodged on to the national register are valid, to check this you can simply log on to the register and easily find the EPC by searching for the EPC by the RRN number or the address (England & Wales Register only). If it's there it is valid, if it's not then you must contact your Assessor immediately.

How do I make a complaint if I am unhappy with my EPC?

If you are unhappy with an EPC on your property, in the first instance you should contact the Energy Assessor who has produced the EPC.  If the Assessor is accredited with BRE and you feel that the complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved, you can make a complaint direct to BRE.  The complaint will be fully investigated to ensure that the Energy Assessor has completed the assessment to the required standards. To view our complaints procedures, please follow the links below:

Complaints and Appeals Procedure (for Homeowners) PN214

Complaints and Appeals Procedure (for Energy Assessors) PN248