Domestic Energy Performance Certificate
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are being introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings, as part of a series of measures being introduced across Europe to reflect legislation which will help cut buildings' carbon emissions and tackel climate change.
If you are buying or selling a home you now need a certificate by law. From October 2008 EPC's will be requied whenever a building is built, sold or rented out. The certificate provides 'A' to 'G' rating for the building, with 'A' being the most energy efficient and 'G' being the least, with the average up to now being 'D'.
Measures recommended in the epc could save the average consumer £300 a year off their fuel bills, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
With EPC's being introduced today - giving home-buyers a home energy rating, the system will make easier for consumers to get grants to make the improvements recommended in the certificate.
For the first time , the six major energy companies have agreed that when buyers move into their home and sign to an energy contract they will get immediate access and information about 'green' grants or offers to consumers. This follows talks with the Government and will help them make their homes more environmentally friendly and cut fuel bills.
In addition, the scheme will include a new portal on the Energy Saving Trust's website where consumers only need to tap in their postcode to find details of offers available. Once fully rolled out it is estimated that the energy certificates would save nearly a million tonnes of carbon per year by 2020. Consumers who choose to give details from the EPC to suppliers will also recieve targeted offers for recommendations in their certificate. This information will not be used for any other purpose and cannot be given to anyone else by the supplier.
For advice on how to take action and to find out about offers available to help make your home more energy efficient.
Freephone 0800 512 012 or visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
DEA Domestic Energy Assessor
DEA is a licenced Domestic Energy Assessor, a person who has undergone specific training in energy performance of buildings using RdSAP methodology. RdSAP is an acronym for Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure.
This method is used for smaller domestic dwellings whereas full SAP is applied to new build homes.
The DEA's job encompasses a number of areas.
The data required to allow the calculation of an EPC includes the following:
1. The DEA must on arrival at your property conduct a health & safety survey around the exterior and interior of the property – a ‘risk analysis’ to identify potential risks to safety.
2. The assessor will take dimensions throughout the property to work out the area considered as "space heating" - to determine heat loss through walls and ceilings for example.
3. Inspection of boilers, room heaters, fireplaces and heating controls will also be surveyed. The type of fuels to heat the home will also be recorded.
4. Any extensions to the property will be surveyed including the year of build and the construction type noted (eg stone, solid brick, cavity etc).
5. The main house construction will be surveyed and the age of build noted.
6. If an "un-separated" Conservatory is present the dimensions and build age will also be recorded if one exists. For the purpose of doubt a "separated" conservatory is one where access to the conservatory is through an exterior quality door and is exempt from the energy survey.
7. The property will be inspected to establish what insulation is present, both in walls and loft. Loft access is required if there is one (assessor must use their own ladder).
8. Types of glazing and low energy lighting will also be recorded.
9. All data will be recorded on a property datasheet or PDA for download into a specialised computer program, which analyses the data and produces an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).
10. The DEA will then issue the EPC to client or agent and explain the report findings.
TOP TIPS FOR A BETTER EPC RATING
1. Try and make sure as many of your fixed light fittings as possible have energy saving bulbs, i.e. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
2. If you have a hot water tank, make sure there is plenty of insulation around it. Good insulation can make a significant difference to the rating.
3. Loft insulation. If we cannot see the loft is insulated because either we cannot gain loft access or because the loft is boarded over please have any paperwork available to prove loft insulation is fitted.
4. If you have cavity wall insulation which is not visible due to rendering etc, make sure you have the paperwork available.
5. If your double glazed windows were fitted after 2002 and the date is not visible in the units, please have paperwork available to show the installation date.
6. Boiler information: We will try to establish the exact make and model of the gas or oil heating boiler. Where this is possible, the exact efficiency of the boiler can be established. This is likely to be higher than the software default setting for that type of boiler. Establishing the boilers details from visual inspection can be difficult, so please have any information manuals or service history available.
7. Please include Building Regulations Sign Off Completion Certificate for any additional work done on the propety, i.e. (Home Extensions & Loft Conversions).
8. Please make sure all parts of the property are unlocked and accessible including basements and loft space.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. When did the obligations to provide EPC’s for rented dwellings come into force?
A. 1 October 2008.
Q. When did the obligations to provide EPC’s for the sale of dwellings come into force?
A. For the marketed sale of dwellings this requirement started on 1 August 2007. For other types of sale, such as non-marketed sales, this requirement started on 1 October 2008.
Q. When did the obligations for newly constructed dwellings come into force?
A. 6 April 2008.
Q. How long is an EPC valid for?
A. 10 years.
Q. Where does the 10 year validity period come from?
A. The requirement for an EPC is driven by the European Union legislation, which includes a provision that the validity period of EPC’s should not exceed 10 years.
Q. Where can I find an energy assessor?
A. Fully accredited energy assessors can be found at Complete EPC
Q. Can a landlord charge a tenant for the provision of an EPC?
A. No. It is not permitted for the landlord to charge for the provision of the original EPC. However it is permissible for a tenant who has already received the EPC to be charged for the provision of a copy document.
Q. How do I decide whether to keep the work in-house or use an external contractor?
A. This is a decision for individuals. A key factor to consider when choosing between in-house and external DEAs will be the number of dwellings that require EPC’s and the expected frequency of turnover.
Q. Is it possible to amend and update an EPC without the need to commission a new assessment? A new EPC may be wanted for example if a replacement boiler is fitted.
A. An EPC cannot be amended or updated. If you want to capture the benefits of any energy efficiency measure that you have installed, you will need to commission a new EPC, for which a new survey will be required. However, if the work has been funded through the Green Deal, a new assessment is not required, provided that suitable evidence that the work has been done is available.
Q. Is it always the building owner who is responsible for producing the EPC? What if the building owner has no direct relationship with the tenants?
A. Where a tenant sub-lets a dwelling, the responsibility to make an EPC available lies with the sub leaseholder.
Q. Who has access to the EPC’s on the domestic register?
A. Data held on the domestic register is publicly available. It is possible to search for an EPC on the register by entering either the certificate’s unique reference number (RRN), or the property’s postcode. Anyone with an EPC can opt out of having their data made publicly available.
Q. Are asset management databases available that can hold property specific reduced data standard assessment procedure (RdSAP) input data and the central register reference number in addition to the other asset details?
A. These are being developed by the market in response to a recognised need.
Q. Is it possible to advertise a property before the EPC has been produced?
A. There is nothing to prevent a dwelling being advertised for sale or rent before the EPC is available. However, the landlord/seller will be expected to have made contact with a domestic energy assessor and commissioned the EPC with a view to receiving it within one week of the date it was commissioned.
Q. If an EPC is being produced when the dwelling is empty, what impact will occupying tenants or owners have on the accuracy of the energy and environmental ratings when they move in?
A. The occupier will have no impact on the EPC ratings, as these are produced using standardised occupancy data (i.e. number of occupants and hours of heating per day).
Q. What if the tenant wants to buy the dwelling they already occupy? Can I use the same EPC as I used when they took the tenancy?
A. If the tenant wants to purchase the dwelling they rent, the same EPC can be used.
Q. Is an EPC needed if tenants are moving via a mutual exchange?
A. Whether advertised for exchange via a choice based lettings system or not an EPC will be required.
Q. Is an EPC needed for shared ownership dwellings?
A. The first equity purchase of the dwelling creates a trigger for an EPC to be produced. The purchase of subsequent equity does not create a need for a further EPC.
Q. What happens in the case of stock transfer? Can we have one EPC for a whole block in that case?
A. For a stock transfer an EPC is required for each dwelling. However, it may be possible to employ techniques which will reduce the number of dwellings that need to be assessed. Separate guidance is available on these.
Q. What happens if I need to get an EPC to advertise the property, but I am going to improve before the new tenant moves in/ the sale is completed?
A. Either explains to the tenant or buyer that improvement works were carried out since commissioning the EPC and so the dwelling’s energy efficiency rating may now have changed. It may be beneficial to commission another EPC after completion of the improvements.
Q. Will I have to issue an EPC if I have a lodger in my house?
A. A letting of a room within your house does not constitute a rental of a building or part of a building - so a separate EPC for that room is not required.
Q. Will I need to show an EPC to prospective residents of, for example, a care home or a boarding school.
A. These examples do not constitute a rental of a building or a part of a building. Therefore, an EPC is not required.
Q. Is an EPC required under a long term regulated tenancy where a tenant dies and a partner, member of their family or other individual is able to succeed to the tenancy under the Rent Act 1977?
A. Under such circumstances an EPC is not required.
Q. Will an EPC be needed for holiday accommodation?
A. An EPC will be required for a property rented out as a holiday let where the building is occupied as a result of a short term letting arrangement and is rented out for a combined total of four months or more in any 12 month period. An EPC will not be required where the property is let under a licence to occupy, regardless of the length of time it is rented out for.
Q. Do static caravans or houseboats require an EPC?
A. No – static caravans and houseboats do not require an EPC because they are not buildings.
DOMESTIC EPC IS VALID FOR 10 YEARS.
|www.carbontrust.co.uk / 0800 085 2005
|Energy Saving Trust™|
|www.energysavingtrust.org.uk / 0800 512 012
|The Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes|
|www.eeph.org.uk / 020 7222 0101|
Gas Safety Certificate Advice
Who is a landlord?
In relation to domestic gas under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GS(IU)R 98), a landlord is anyone who rents out a property that they own under a lease that is shorter than 7 years or under a licence . Regardless of whether you are a landlord under GS(IU)R 98 you may be considered a landlord under other related legislation.
Landlords' duties apply to a wide range of accommodation, occupied under a lease or licence , which includes, but not exclusively:
residential premises provided for rent by local authorities, housing associations, private sector landlords, housing co-operatives, hostels
rooms let in bed-sit accommodation, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels
rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways.
Further details are given in HSC's Approved Code of Practice 'Safety in the installation and use of gas systems and appliances' which can be ordered through HSE books.
What are my duties as a landlord in relation to gas safety?
You have duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe Registered engineer for all pipe work, appliances and flues, which you own and have provided for your tenants use. You must also arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. You must keep a record of the safety check for 2 years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
What are my duties as a letting/ management agent in relation to gas safety?
Landlords who use agents to manage properties need to ensure that the management contract clearly specifies who is responsible for carrying out the maintenance and safety check duties, and keeping associated records. If the contract specifies that the agent has responsibility then the same duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 that apply to a landlord apply to you.
In this situation an agent must arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe Registered engineer for all pipe work, appliances and flues, which the landlord owns and provides for the tenants use. You must also arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. You must keep a record of the safety check for 2 years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
Unsafe gas appliances produce a highly poisonous gas called carbon monoxide (CO). It can cause death as well as serious long term health problems such as brain damage.
Remember the six main symptoms:
|6. Loss of consciousness
Being aware of the symptoms could save your life.
Carbon monoxide symptoms are similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and simply tiredness. That’s why it’s quite common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else.
Boiler Scrappage Scheme
Get £400 off a new A-rated boiler or renewable heat technology, when you scrap your old, inefficient G-rated boiler-
What is the purpose of the boiler scrappage scheme?
Installing modern boilers
Want help to upgrade your boiler?
Boiler scrappage grant The scheme was launched last month to upgrade up to 125,000 household heating systems in England to cut carbon, save money on fuel bills and sustain work for the heating industry.
Up to 125,000 households in England with working 'G-rated' boilers can apply through the Energy Saving Trust for a voucher. This will entitle them to £400 off the price of a new, modern 'A-rated' boiler or a renewable heating system like a biomass boiler or a heat pump.
All the major energy companies which sell and install boilers (British Gas, E.On, npower and Scottish & Southern) have now matched the offer. These give householders potentially £800 off the cost of a new efficient boiler. Some manufacturing companies are also offering deals.
The Energy Saving Trust (EST) is running the scheme on behalf of the government. Fraser Winterbottom from the Trust said: “We’re extremely pleased with the public’s response to this scheme. Since the scrappage offer was launched the phones have been ringing off the hook, and our call centres have been working hard to process the applications – we’ve had nearly 400,000 calls nationally – an average of 5,000 a day at each of our regional advice centres".
We use registered contractors to ensure that all installations and maintenance are safe and correct.
NICEIC Electrical Periodic Reporting
Electrical hazards are invisible but deadly, causing fires and electrical shock. These hazards are easily preventable if you use an NICEIC to install, inspect and maintain electrical installations.
Government figures estimate that there are around 10 fatal and 2,000 non-fatal electric shock accidents in the home each year. However, there are about 12,500 electrical fires in homes across the UK each year. Although many incidents are caused by faulty appliances rather than the electrical installation itself, a properly installed and well-maintained installation could save lives.
Cables, switches, socket-outlets and other equipment deteriorate with prolonged use, so they all need to be checked and necessary replacements or repairs made in good time.
Whilst it is relatively easy to make an electrical circuit work – it is far more challenging to make the circuit work safely. To avoid the dangers that electricity can create to you and others it is essential that electrical work is carried out only by those with the correct knowledge, skill and experience in the type of electrical work to be undertaken.
Compliance with the Building Regulations in England and Wales is governed by CLG - ensure compliance by using an NICEIC-registered contractor to undertake work covered by Building Regulations.
Ensure compliance to the Building Regulations – always use an NICEIC-registered contractor to undertake work covered by the Building Regulations.
If you are a homeowner or own a rental property, you are responsible for compliance with legally binding Building Regulations.
The Building Regulations apply to building work in England and Wales and set standards for the design and construction of buildings to ensure the health and safety of people in or about those buildings. Equivalent Regulations apply in Scotland under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003.
We use registered contractors to ensure that all installations and maintenance are safe and correct.
SAP Part L - Standard Assessment Procedure
Code for Sustainable Homes Assessments
SAP is the Government's Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings. SAP is adopted by government as part of the UK national methodology for calculation of the energy performance of buildings. It is used to demonstrate compliance with building regulations for dwellings - Part L (England and Wales), Section 6 (Scotland) and Part F (Northern Ireland) - and to provide energy ratings for dwellings.
From 6 April 2008 it is law to provide an Energy Performance Certificate for all new and newly built homes that are completed after that date. Regulations have been made under sections 58B and 58C of Finance Act 2003 to permit relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax for zero-carbon new homes. First the dwelling CO2 emissions are calculated as for building regulations compliance. The calculations are then continued as described in the document "SAP 2005 extension for SDLT". The conditions for SDLT relief are:
A. The heat loss parameter must be no greater than 0.8 W/m?K
B. The DER must be no greater than zero
C. The net CO2 emissions must be no greater than zero.
Air Pressure - Air Tightness - Leakage Test
Our air pressure test service can save you money!
Part L2 of the Building Regulations ( Conservation of fuel and power) has been amended with effecr from 1st april 2006 and now includes a test for Air Leakage.
Building requiring compliance to part L2 with a gross floor area of greater than 500m2 will require an air leakage test carried out in accordance with ATTMA technical standards 1 (2006) and must be shown to leak no more than 10m3/hr/m2@ 50Pa or less than the given in your SAPS calculations.
Despite the legal requirement, an energy efficient building has many advantages, both financially and environmentally.
Houses - Checklist of Items to be completed prior to our arrival on Site Items in Bold font are areas where dwellings usually tend to fail, please check that they are sealed properly before the test.
1. We will require the Design Air Leakage Rate or Air Permeability for the building. For commercial buildings this is generally 10 m3/hour/m2, but can be lower for houses and/or commercial buildings, if requested in the SAP rating reports. If you do not advise of a figure we will assume the maximum allowable figure for Part L1 of 10 m3/hour/m2.
2. We require ONE 240v MAINS powered electrical sockets within 5 metres of EACH of our testing equipment set up.
3. Ensure that the completed building envelope is finished. All doors, windows, and cladding must be installed, or if items, such as glazing are missing, they should be sealed up to prevent air leakage. Please note that temporarily sealing items with tape should be limited to those items detailed in item 5.
4. Seal with tape or cardboard any duct work and mechanical vents to the outside. Pay particular attention to the air conditioning system.
5. Seal all ducts and penetrations where the main services enter the building. We have encountered many tests where a water pipe duct has been left unsealed underneath kitchen units. After services have been installed in the duct, seal the rest of the duct.
6. Seal all SVP and waste pipe penetrations passing through external walls and ceilings. Make sure that the tops, sides & ends of all pipe/SVP boxing’s are sealed to prevent air leaking into the boxing and escaping through SVP/waste pipe penetrations. Bath panels should also be fully sealed.
7. Ensure that all toilets and U bends in sinks have water in them.
8. Ensure all external doors and windows are closed fully and make sure all trickle vents closed but NOT SEALED. Internal doors should be wedged open.
9. All penetrations through floors & ceilings should be sealed.
10. The boiler flue must be sealed where it penetrates walls or ceilings
11. In some houses storage cupboards have been built into the roof space. The doors when closed should seal the room from the roof space. Fit draught excluder if necessary to top, bottom & sides of door/frame
12. In houses constructed from Timber Frame or where DOT & DAB plasterboard has been fixed to the inside face of block work perimeter walls, the gap between the bottom of the plasterboard and floors needs to be sealed at every floor level. Alternatively the gap between the bottom of the skirting board and floor can be sealed with mastic. This prevents air leaking behind the wall board and passing above the ceiling board, into the roof space.
13. Have a competent member of your staff available on the test day to modify and/or seal any further areas that we identify as requiring extra work. A good supply of mastic/decorators caulk and board material etc would be useful in case areas need to be sealed.
14. If the door chosen for the test has a larger opening larger than 1.100m x 2.100m high, you will need to modify the opening to suit our standard template.
(Please call us for advice should this be required.)
15. Whilst we would prefer to have the building empty during the test duration, people can stay in the building whilst the test is in progress. They may not however enter or leave during the test period. (Approx 1/2 hour)
16. We require a parking space for a vehicle within 10 metres of the test location on site.
17. If we arrive on site and are delayed due to the site not being prepared adequately, or the items in this checklist not being completed prior to our arrival, we reserve the right to cancel the test. The full test fee will be payable.
Certified Sound Insulation Tests & Consultancy
From 6 April 2008 it is law to provide a Sound Pressure Test Certificate for all new and newly built properties that are completed after that date.
The best time to carry out sound testing is towards the completion of the project, but before the floor finishes have been applied. In addition the optimum conditions are when the site is quiet. If there is noise on the site from equipment and 'on going works' there is an increased chance of a sound test failure. Housing developers and/or site managers will have to nominate a day for testing and restrict any noisy activity during the tests. The following list provides an indicative checklist for site managers for the requirements of the plots and sites where testing may be carried out.
1. We require accurately dimensioned floor plan layout drawings of the rooms to be tested; AT LEAST 5 WORKING DAYS before the test date.
2. We require a 240v Mains Electric socket in each of the rooms being tested.
3. We will require a clean & quiet working environment for our testing works.
4. Both properties to be tested should be clear of materials and operatives for the test. Access to the properties needs to be restricted whilst the tests are undertaken.
5. Ensure that the completed building envelope is finished. All doors, windows, and cladding must be installed. Make sure that:
- Windows are fully fitted with locks in place.
- Window trickle vents are in place or temporarily blocked up for testing.
- Individual room and front doors are in place and closable.
- All wall surfaces in rooms to be tested are complete (including sockets and switches if applicable).
- Floor and ceiling surface are complete.
- Carpets or timber laminates have NOT been laid in rooms where floors are to be tested
(except for bonded carpet).
6. All of the rooms to be tested will need to be cleared of materials & operatives during the testing.
7. Seal all ducts and penetrations where the main services enter the building.
8. Lift shaft doors are to be kept closed.
9. On our quotation a time is allowed for the test. If, due to the site not being prepared adequately, or the test over runs due to reasons beyond our control, our extra hourly charges would be as stated on our quotation.
10. Have a competent member of your staff available on the test day to ensure that the above items remain in place during the testing period.
11. If we arrive on site and are delayed due to the site not being prepared adequately, or the items in this checklist not being completed prior to our arrival, we reserve the right to cancel the test. The full test fee will be payable.