Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions that may provide you with a bit more insight into Energy Performance Certificates and why they have been introduced in Scotland.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

o What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
o An EPC is a document which states the energy efficiency of a building based on the standardised way that the building is used.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) ratings are shown in bandings from A to G, with A being the least polluting. The main focus of the certificate is the amount of CO2 which is estimated to be released from the building. The performance of the dwelling is benchmarked against current building standards and recommended cost effective improvements.

o Why have they been introduced in Scotland?
o The earth's natural resources such as oil products, natural gas and solid fuels are limited and steps must be taken to conserve these commodities. Scientific studies have indicated that these resources also generate emissions such as CO2, which are considered to have a direct contribution to global warming. Making a building more energy efficient through improvements in heating systems, insulation and air conditioning units will lead to a reduction in energy consumption and in CO2 emissions.

o What information will the EPC display?
o The EPC will display an indication of the current carbon dioxide emissions of the building. It will also provide an indication of potential emissions on an annual basis and record a list of cost effective improvements.

o What should I do with the EPC?
o It is the responsibility of the building owner to 'affix the certificate to the building' - this is a legal requirement. The EPC should be indelibly marked and located in a position that is readily accessible, protected from weather and not easily obscured. A suitable location could be in a cupboard containing the gas and electricity meter or the water supply stopcock.

o When does an EPC have to be produced?
o An EPC has to be produced for all properties that are put on the property market in Scotland from the 4th January 2009.

o Who can produce an EPC?
o In Scotland, there is no specified qualification for energy assessors. The Scottish Government has entered into protocol with professional organisations/institutions whose members already have an understanding of the building/energy sectors. Only members of protocol organisations may produce EPCs for existing buildings.

o Do all tenants of rented properties require an EPC by the European Deadline of 4th January 2009?
o No. All tenants who rent a property on or after 4th of January 2009 must be provided with EPC (E.g. new tenancies). However, landlords would be advised to ensure that they have all of the information necessary to produce the EPC before this deadline.

o What does the 'Energy Efficiency Rating' on the EPC mean?
o This shows the energy efficiency of the dwelling at present (current) and the efficiency if the cost effective measures were implemented in future (potential). This is based on the information about the dwelling not the way in which it is used.

o What does the Environmental Impact (CO2) rating on the EPC show?
o This shows the amount of CO2 emissions from the dwelling at present (current) and the emissions in future (potential) if the cost effective measures were introduced.

o Do I have to carry out the cost effective improvements?
o No, but you may wish to give serious consideration to these possible improvements as not only will they reduce the carbon emissions generated and the energy used, but they could also save you money.

o How long will the EPC remain valid for?
o An individual EPC will only be valid for a period of ten years. If major works were to be undertaken during this period, building owners may choose to update the certificate, however, this is not mandatory.