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 don't 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 don't 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 two years or less
- buildings with a low energy demand (non-residential agricultural buildings or workshops)
- buildings sold to be demolished
Places of worship 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 and possible costs.
Getting an EPC
If you need an EPC, contact a member of an 'approved organisation' (AO). These organisations have been appointed as their members have the skills and expertise needed to produce an EPC and 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
Once you get an EPC it's valid for 10 years and doesn't have to be updated. If you make improvements to the building you may want to update the EPC, especially if you're selling or renting out the building and want potential buyers or tenants to get the most up-to-date information.
How to make a complaint
If you aren't 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 can't resolve the issue with your assessor, contact the scheme manager of the AO that the assessor belongs to. All AOs have a complaints procedure which they follow – you will find a copy of this on their website.
If the AO can't 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.