Fuel Cost Factors updated within Domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
The BRE (Building Research Establishment) has now made a significant change to the fuel prices associated with the running costs, and savings shown on Domestic EPCs.
The BRE’s Product Characteristics Database (PCDB) contains data relating to heating systems, controls etc. This data includes the cost of fuel that is used to calculate the estimated energy costs and savings that will appear on the EPC. It was typically updated every six months and is based on a rolling average of the last 3 years’ fuel prices. However, due to the ongoing energy crisis, the fuel costs within the PCDB are now considered inaccurate.
Elmhurst successfully raised this issue with the government and BRE, resulting in the decision to change the prices to reflect current fuel costs, which will take effect from today (15th February).
Will this change the EPC Rating?
In short, No. The fuel cost factors which influence the EPC rating are not changing. These only change when a new version of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is introduced. Therefore, the same property lodged before and after the 15th February will achieve the same EPC Rating.
What will be changing?
The change to the PCDB will provide greater accuracy to a property’s running costs and savings for heating, water heating, and lighting. These figures will typically appear under the ‘Improve this property’s energy performance’ and ‘Estimated energy use and potential savings’ sections of the EPC.
This change has resulted in an increase in the unit prices of all fuel types. While some fuel types have experienced a relatively minor increase, others have more than doubled in price. Below, you can find the new unit prices in p/kWh for each of the main fuel types, as well as a comparison with their old prices:
|Proposed new set
(with 3-yr averaging removed)
(in use since 1st Jan 2023)
|7-hour tariff high rate *||0.00||43.39||0||26.01|
|7-hour tariff low rate||12.14||11.38|
|10-hour tariff high rate *||0||44.19||0||23.22|
|10-hour tariff low rate||19.70||12.96|
|18-hour tariff high rate *||14.00||34.36||0||19.32|
|18-hour tariff low rate||29.31||15.95|
|24-hour heating tariff *||14.65||25.10||0||15.61|
Changes in Practice
It is clear to see that the fuel prices for all fuels has increased across the board. The impact on each home will be clearly different depending on lots of factors including size, age of dwelling, fabric insulation, heating and hot water technologies etc. Not only will the predicted fuel bill section see a significant change, but so too logically will be the monetary savings for each recommendation on the EPC. As the fuel prices rise for usage, so too will the savings associated to the energy efficiency recommendations.
We conducted a comparison to estimate the costs and savings of a typical 1960s semi-detached house with mains gas central heating, based on an energy certificate lodged in January 2023. This allows us to evaluate how the property would perform in light of the new changes:
|January 2023||15th February onwards|
|Estimated yearly energy cost for this property||£1045||£2163|
The table shows a 107% increase in the estimated energy costs and a 124% increase in the potential savings from January 2023. This is much more reflective of the current energy issues impacting the UK and demonstrates that by installing the recommendations that appear on the EPC, the costs of running the property become much more manageable.
Elmhurst’s Head of Operations, Josh Wakeling is pleased to see the BRE and government taking steps to improve the accuracy of information presented on the EPC: “Amid the ongoing energy crisis, the prices and potential savings from various fuel sources have fluctuated significantly. Therefore, it is critical for homeowners to have access to the latest and most precise information when evaluating the costs and savings associated with property upgrades”.