On completion of a new build dwelling, the local Building Control Department will ask for submission of a notice which includes an energy rating to demonstrate that the building complies with Part L of the Building Regulations. They may also require a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and evidence that this is available to the owner of the building.

The current edition of Part L of the Building Regulations dates to April 2014, with minor amendments issued in April 2016. The main driver behind this is to raise the energy efficiency standards to which new buildings are constructed in England and Wales. For new homes the aim is to see construction of properties that require less energy to heat, cool and power, have lower carbon emissions associated with energy use and cost less per annum to run.

EPCs have been designed to inform potential/existing owner/occupiers about the energy efficiency of a home and how it can be improved. The certificates show both the SAP rating and an Environmental Impact rating; the former being the same rating as provided to Building Control and the latter highlighting how much CO2 emissions the home is responsible for relating to its annual energy requirements. Visually, the certificate is similar to an energy label commonly seen on ‘white goods’, such as fridges and washing machines.

EPCs also come with a Recommendation Report which includes advice and suggestions on improvements that can be made to the property to reduce carbon emissions and save money and energy. The certificate also shows the rating that could be achieved if all the recommendations are followed. In the case of new homes, the Recommendation Report tends to be short as most options should be built-in. It will focus on more advanced energy improvements such as solar water heating systems and, in Blewburton’s opinion, is somewhat inaccurate and not really fit for purpose (something we believe the government is reviewing).

When properties are being brought to market before completion (off-plan sales) an EPC cannot be generated as key data, such as air pressure test results, will not be available. In this instance a Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA) will be legally required for potential purchasers/occupiers. A PEA is the predicted SAP and Environmental Impact (CO2) rating from the SAP calculations undertaken at design stage and is subject to change.

How do I get an Energy Performance Certificate?

EPCs can only be produced by an accredited On Construction Domestic Energy Assessor (OCDEA) registered to an approved government scheme. OCDEAs at Blewburton Ltd. are licensed to the government approved Elmhurst scheme for the production of domestic EPCs.

This Government approved accreditation scheme protects developers and potential homeowners by making sure OCDEAs have the appropriate skills to carry out energy assessments, and that EPCs are always of the same high quality. All EPCs are formally registered and stored in a national register with a unique reference number. This can only be undertaken by an OCDEA through their accreditation scheme.

The physical process of issuing an EPC requires confirmation from the developer on completion of construction that all information (and any changes) provided to the OCDEA for the production of the SAP calculations is correct and that all necessary air pressure testing has been undertaken and results submitted. The OCDEA can then issue final SAP calculations and process the EPCs which can then be issued in hard or electronic copy.

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