Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) measures how energy efficient a building is, it contains information on the building’s energy use and typical energy costs. It also offers a recommendation report with suggestions to reduce energy use and save money. EPC’s are compulsory for anyone selling or renting a property as it allows the potential buyer/tenant to calculate what the energy costs are likely to be.
EPC Bands and Ratings
EPCs carry ratings - the rating measures the energy efficiency of the building using a grade from ‘A’ to ‘G’. An ‘A’ rating is the most efficient, while ‘G’ is the least efficient. The average efficiency grade is 'D' and as of 2018 anyone selling or renting a property will have to have an EPC of at least Band D.
EPCS and Solar PV
As of 1st April 2012 to qualify for the higher rate Feed-in Tariff ALL buildings must have an EPC of at least Band D.
Agricultural Buildings – Are they EPC Exempt?
The definition of a building is:
“a roofed construction having walls, for which energy is used to condition the indoor climate, and a reference to a building includes a reference to a part of a building which has been designed or altered to be used separately”.
Under this definition most farm buildings that house livestock, storage and other traditional uses would not require an EPC. However, if a Solar PV system is mounted on a grain barn but the electricity is used in a farm house or holiday let those buildings will require an EPC of Band D or above.
What to do now?
If you already have an EPC with a band D rating you do not need to do anything and you can contact Solgain UK to discuss installing Solar PV.
If you have an EPC that is lower than Band D you will need to bring it up before you can claim the FiT. (To register a system you need to send off your EPC Certificate and MCS Certificate along with your application).
Solar PV installations can contribute towards getting a higher rating. Solgain UK can work with you to ascertain what your current rating is and whether a Solar PV installation will be sufficient to improve your rating or whether you will need to implement additional measures before you can achieve Band D.
The rate of feed-in tariff for those with an EPC level D can be found here but without the EPC you would only receive the standalone rate.
This will have a significant impact on returns therefore it is important to be really clear about what measures will be required to achieve level D before you sign any contracts for the installation of a Solar PV system.
To discuss any of these topics in more detail contact Solgain UK for a further discussion.