Energy Performance Certificate FAQs

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If you are unfamiliar with the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and why it was introduced in Scotland then the information below should provide you with a bit more insight. Should you have any questions that you would like to raise with us, please complete the contact form or email us directly at enquiries@energycertscotland.com. We are happy to help!

Domestic Energy Certificates

What is an EPC?

An EPC is a document which states the energy efficiency of a building based on the standardised way that the building is used. Carbon dioxide (CO2) ratings are shown in bandings from A to G, with A being the least polluting.

The main focus of the certificate is the amount of CO2 which is estimated to be released from the building. The performance of the dwelling is benchmarked against current building standards and recommended cost effective improvements. The certificate must be fixed to the dwelling and will be valid for a period of 10 years.

Why have they been introduced?

The earth's natural resources such as oil products, natural gas and solid fuels are limited and steps must be taken to conserve these commodities. Scientific studies have indicated that these resources also generate emissions such as CO2, which are considered to have a direct contribution to global warming. Making a building more energy efficient through improvements in heating systems, insulation and air conditioning units will lead to a reduction in energy consumption and in CO2 emissions. Scotland, as part of the United Kingdom along with all other EU member states has an obligation under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to promote improvement in the energy performance of new and existing buildings.

What information will be shown?

The Energy Performance Certificate should:
- Display an indication of current carbon dioxide emissions
- Provide an indication of potential emissions on an annual basis and also the potential energy use of the building
- Record a list of cost effective improvements

What should I do with the EPC?

It is the responsibility of the building owner to 'affix the certificate to the building' - this is a legal requirement. The EPC should be indelibly marked and located in a position that is readily accessible, protected from weather and not easily obscured. A suitable location could be in a cupboard containing the gas and electricity meter or the water supply stopcock.

When does an EPC have to be produced?

An EPC has to be produced for all properties which are sold or rented from 4 January 2009.

Who can produce an EPC?

In Scotland, there is no specified qualification for energy assessors. The Scottish Government has entered into protocol with professional organisations/institutions whose members already have an understanding of the building/energy sectors. Only members of protocol organisations may produce EPCs for existing buildings.

Do all tenants of rented properties require to have an EPC by the European Deadline of 4 January 2009?

No. All tenants who rent a property on or after 4 January 2009 must be provided with EPC (ie new tenancies). However, landlords would be advised to ensure that they have all of the information necessary to produce the EPC before this deadline.

What does the 'Energy Efficiency Rating' on the EPC mean?

This shows the energy efficiency of the dwelling at present (current) and the efficiency if the cost effective measures were implemented in future (potential). This is based on the information about the dwelling not the way in which it is used.

What does the Environmental Impact (CO2) rating on the EPC show?

This shows the amount of CO2 emissions from the dwelling at present (current) and the emissions in future (potential) if the cost effective measures were introduced.

Do I have to carry out the 'cost effective improvements'?

No, but you may wish to give serious consideration to these possible improvements as not only will they reduce the carbon emissions generated and the energy used, but they could also save you money.

When should an EPC be updated?

An individual EPC will only be valid for a period of ten years. If major works were to be undertaken during this period, building owners may choose to update the certificate, however, this is not mandatory.

Do I have to update the EPC after 10 years?

No. Only if you sell or rent out the property after the 10 year period. The same EPC can be passed to subsequent tenants if it has been produced by a member of a protocol organisation within this 10 year period.

Commercial EPCs Scotland

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An EPC is a document which states the energy efficiency of a building based on the standardised way that the building is used. Carbon dioxide (CO2) ratings are shown in bandings from A to G, with A being the least polluting.

The main focus of the certificate is the amount of CO2 which is estimated to be released from the building. The performance of the dwelling is benchmarked against current building standards and recommended cost effective improvements.

What type of properties are effected?

Many types of property come under this legislation, the main ones being: Office, Retail, Industrial units, Hotels even residential properties converted for commercial use.

How long is the Commercial EPC valid for?

A Commercial EPC will remain valid for 10 years unless major modifications are made to the building. More information can be found on the Scottish government website, but if in doubt please contact us, we are here to help.

How soon do I need to supply a Commercial EPC?

As of the 4th January 2009, any commercial or industrial property being sold or changing leaseholder will require a Commercial EPC usually prior to being advertised.

How much will a Commercial EPC cost?

The cost associated with the creation of an EPC for commercial and industrial properties is difficult to quantify due to the nature of the construction, the complexity, size of the building and the potential complexity of the heating/cooling systems involved.

The price will be greatly effected by the quantity and quality of the information provided to us (drawings, floor plans). The more information you can provide to us, the cheaper your Commercial EPC will be.

Are there any given instances where an EPC will not be required?

An EPC is not required in the following situations:

- Places of worship
- Temporary buildings with a planned time of use less than two years
- Stand alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m2 that are not dwellings
- Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand

EPCs are not required on sale or rent for any buildings due to be demolished in the near future.

What is the penalty charge if I do not acquire an EPC?

In most cases, the penalty charge will be 12.5 per cent of the rateable value of the building with a default penalty of £750 where the formula cannot be applied. The range of penalties under this formula are set with a minimum of £500 and capped at a maximum of £5,000.

For further information on Commercial Energy Performance Certificates and other environmental issues, visit:- www.scotland.gov.uk

What is Legionnella?

Legionella is a form of bacteria commonly found in water systems such as water tanks, pipes and air conditioning units. By inhaling small droplets of water containing this bacteria it can cause Legionnaires’ Disease.

How do people get Legionnaires' disease?

People contract Legionnaires' disease by inhaling small droplets of water (aerosols), suspended in the air, containing the bacteria.

I am a landlord, do I need a Legionella Risk Assessment carried out?

Landlords must comply with the new regulations. In addition, they have a legal duty to ensure that their tenants and others visiting the property are protected.

What is the purpose of a Legionella Risk Assessment?

The purpose of the Risk Assessment is to identify any risks in your water system. The competent person undertaking the assessment should be able to establish whether there are any risks of exposure to legionella.

What should the Assessment include?

Your Legionella Risk Assessment should include:-

- management responsibilities, including the name of the competent person and a description of your system
- competence and training of key personnel
- any identified potential risk sources
- any means of preventing the risk or controls in place to control risks
- monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures
- records of the monitoring results and inspection and checks carried out
- arrangements to review the risk assessment regularly, particularly when there is reason to suspect it is no longer valid

Who can undertake the Risk Assessment?

The legislation states that the Risk Assessment must be carried out by a "competent person", someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety, including the control measures.

Landlords can carry out the assessment themselves if they believe they are competent to do so, or they can instruct a specialist contractor to carry out the work.

You the landlord are fully responsible and liable to ensure the risk of legionella in your property is assessed & controlled. The Risk assessment must be carried out by a fully trained and competent person with the necessary skills & professional indemnity cover to protect you. If you carry out your own risk assessment and/or employ someone who is not trained to provide one, it is only you who will face prosecution in the event of an outbreak at your property. Protect yourself.

Where can I find out more about Legionella?

The Health and Safety executive have issued a guide on their website. It can be found via the following link:- http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/

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