Energy Performance Certificates have changed – FAQs
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) for all buildings across England and Wales have changed; They look very different to what we’re used to. This new layout is here to stay so we’ve pulled together some FAQs to help you understand what’s going on:
MHCLG (The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government) is responsible for keeping a publicly available record of EPCs for all buildings - new-build and existing, dwellings and non-residential.
Since EPCs were launched over a decade ago, this Register has been managed by a company called Landmark. Earlier this year the Government decided not to renew their contract, and to bring the whole EPC process ‘in-house’. The new system is called the Energy Performance of Buildings Register.
How does this affect me?
The one key difference moving forward is that EPCs are now virtual. They are displayed in a webpage format instead of a PDF document.
To view the EPC for a property, you need to access the gov.uk address (above) where you can search using the postcode.
Will my EPC result have changed?
No – the maths in the background hasn’t changed, so your EPC rating will remain the same.
I don’t like this new system, can I still have my EPC in PDF?
It is possible to generate a PDF, but it’s not pretty…
SAP assessment companies can no longer generate PDFs in the old style, and can only provide you with a link to the webpage.
The new website allows you to print a copy of the EPC, so you can ‘print to PDF’ if you choose. This will only print a copy of the webpage and not a stylised certificate.
If Energist can’t do it, can somebody else?
This change has happened at the very top. All SAP and SBEM assessment providers, and all of their accreditation bodies are in the same boat.
Why has the Government made this change?
There are a few factors that have led to this change. Firstly, MHCLG wanted to move the EPC register to a gov.uk domain instead of using a private company. This new system will allow better reporting of statistics concerning energy efficiency, allowing the government to recognise trends and plan for future renovation schemes.
It is also more secure as a PDF can be doctored. We’re not aware of this being an issue in the industry, however weblinks are certainly a more secure format moving forward.
Brexit has also played its part in this change. EPCs are an EU directive, meaning every member state is required to create them. The UK is no longer obliged to produce EPCs, but the Government understands their importance and has committed to keeping them. Being outside the EU means the UK government can change the look and format as they see fit.
I have an old-style EPC. Is it still valid?
Yes - the validity of EPCs hasn’t changed. They last for 10 years, or until works are carried out on a building that would change its energy performance. If you have an old-style EPC, that’s fine. The data will have been automatically uploaded into the new system.
My solicitors / inspectors are insisting on a physical report, not a website. What can I do?
News about this switchover was very sudden, and there will be many in the industry who are unaware of the new process. You can generate a PDF of the webpage as explained above. As more people become aware of the new system, we’re hoping such requests will fade away.
My building control authority requires me to upload EPCs to a portal. What should I do?
We recommend contacting them for confirmation on how they are using the new Energy Performance of Buildings register. We are happy to answer any questions they may have.
I need a new EPC, do I need to do anything differently?
Nothing. If we’ve completed your design stage SAP / SBEM, we can still register your EPC in the same way as before. Energist still offers a same day guarantee on domestic EPCs. The only change – as noted above – is that you’ll receive a weblink instead of a PDF file.
The process is also the same if you need an EPC on an existing building… speak to a local energy assessor to arrange a site survey. You can find local assessors by using the same gov.uk website.