An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) gives information on how energy efficient a building is and how it could be improved.
You need an EPC when:
- applying for a completion certificate for a new building
- selling a building
- renting a building to a new tenant
If you sell or rent and you do not provide an EPC, or include the building's energy rating if advertising it, you could be fined a minimum of £500.
There are certain types of buildings that do not need an EPC. These are:
- standalone buildings (other than homes) with a useful floor area of less than 50 square metres
- temporary buildings which are planned to be used for 2 years or less
- buildings with a low energy demand (non-residential agricultural buildings or workshops)
- buildings sold to be demolished
Places of worship, listed and historic buildings need an EPC if sold or rented out in Scotland. Legislation about this is different in other parts of the UK.
What's in an EPC?
The EPC shows:
- the building's 'energy efficiency rating', which gives you an idea of how much fuel bills are likely to be
- the building's 'environmental impact rating', which shows how much the building affects the environment with CO2 emissions
Both ratings are on a scale from A to G with A being the best. You're also given a 'potential' rating, which is the rating the building could reach if the suggested improvements were made.
It's the law in Scotland to have the EPC 'affixed' to the building, building standards guidance suggests in the boiler or meter cupboard.
A 'recommendations report' is provided with an EPC. This gives:
- more detailed information on the energy efficiency of the building
- how to improve it
- possible costs
Getting an EPC
If you need an EPC, contact a member of an 'approved organisation' (AO). These organisations have been chosen as their members have the skills and expertise needed to produce an EPC. They can make suitable recommendations for improving the building's energy efficiency.
Find an approved organisation assessor
There is a searchable list of AO assessors who work in your area, which can be accessed on the Scottish EPC register. To check if your building already has an EPC, you can search the register by entering either the building's postcode or Report Reference Number (the 16 digit number shown on the top right hand corner of the certificate).
Updating an EPC
An EPC is valid for 10 years. When it expires you need to update an EPC for a new sale or tenancy.
You may also want to update the EPC if you make improvements to the building. This is especially if you sell our rent the building after the improvements. This means potential buyers or tenants get the most up-to-date information.
How to make a complaint
If you're not happy with your EPC and think the information in it is wrong, you must contact the person who produced the EPC. Their contact details will be on the recommendations report. You must try to resolve the issue with the assessor first. They will explain why they came to the conclusion they did.
If you cannot resolve the issue with your assessor, contact the scheme manager of the AO that the assessor belongs to. All AOs have a complaints process which they follow. You will find a copy of this on their website.
If the AO cannot help with your problem, you should then take it to the Building Standards Division. You can call them on 0131 244 6511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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