Residential and commercial buildings account for more than 40% of the carbon emissions in the UK.
The Government’s policies are designed to reduce and monitor these emissions. These measures include the following:
Since 1st October 2008 an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required for every sale or letting of a non-domestic (industrial, office, retail, leisure) property apart from a small number of exceptions (See below). An EPC is an assessment of a building’s existing and potential energy efficiency.
These assessments are carried out by qualified assessors who appraise the exact dimensions of walls, doors and windows, age, use, lighting and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) along with their associated controls. A 3D CAD model is then created and the various U-values applied. The use of the zone, lighting and HVAC is then added in and the final rating calculated expressed as A to G with A being optimal.
For more information from the Government please read their guide which can be downloaded free here.
EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is on a scale of A-G with G being the worst. They are needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented and are valid for 10 years.
Within 7 days of going to the market. If this is not possible there is a 21 day ‘grace period’.
From April 2018 it will be unlawful to rent out properties which do not fall into the A to E bracket of EPC rating. This is likely to affect 18% of commercial and 20% of residential properties. This is beginning to have an effect on rent reviews and bank and portfolio valuations as an F or G rating affects the marketability of the property.
Standard Assessment Procedures (SAP) and Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) are required for Part L of a Building Regulations application and use the proposed specification, not normally requiring a site visit.
Display Energy Certificates (DECs) show the actual energy usage for publicly owned buildings and are based on the gas and electricity used, balanced against the heated area of the building. For the first inspection an Advisory Report (AR) is also produced showing how to improve the energy rating. A DEC lasts for 1 year and must be updated annually. The AR lasts for 7 years.
Since 2011 such reports have been obligatory for buildings with air-conditioning systems over 12kW. The aim is to identify inefficient units and older equipment using R22 and other banned refrigerants.
This scheme affects companies with more than 250 employees or a turnover in excess of 50m Euros. These companies were required to review their total energy use including buildings, transport and industrial processes. This has been compulsory since 29th January 2016.