How to read an EPC - Scotland

This page details how to read an EPC on the Scottish Register; for information on how to read an EPC on the England, Wales, and NI Register, please click here. 

An EPC is a legal document, and once lodged on the Landmark Register is valid for 10 years (or until superseded). It is important that the address shown at the top of the first page is accurate.  

The first item describes the opening of the EPC:

Dwelling Type: A description of the type of property, eg. end-terrace house, flat, office, etc.

Date of assessment & Date of certificate: This shows the exact date that the energy assessment was conducted and when the certificate was produced.

Total Floor Area: The internal floor area of the property is shown, based on the measurements taken by the assessor at the time of their visit.

Reference number: This can be found at the top of the page and is is unique to each EPC.

Type of assessment: Different property types require different methods of assessment: existing dwellings require an RdSAP; commercial buildings require SBEM approach; and new build dwellings require a SAP assessment.

Approved organisation: This is the organisation that the energy assessor is accredited with.

Main heating and fuel: This details the main source of heating and fuel used within the property.

Energy Efficiency Rating

The illustration below indicates the final ‘score’ – the energy efficiency rating for the property. The higher the figure in the ‘current’ column the more energy efficient the property. The figure in the’ potential’ column is based on the recommendations which appear later in the report.

The costs involved in calculating the final result are updated by the Building Research Establishment only when new versions of SAP are introduced. For example, during December 2014, use of SAP 2009 was discontinued and replaced by the full SAP 2012 document and the fuel prices were simultaneously updated.

It is possible, therefore, for an EPC created after introduction of a SAP upgrade to register a score which is worse than one previously lodged for the same house, with the same input. This is because an increase in the price of fuel has been incorporated in the later version of SAP.

Impact on the Environment

This next section is designed to provide information about the environmental impact of the subject property. The figures illustrate that by adopting the improvement measures shown under the Recommendations section, this could be reduced substantially.

Top actions to make your home more efficient

This section seeks to point out the most effective measures which can be taken to improve the subject property. It details a prospective cost for how much the recommended measures will cost, and also the savings that could be made by following the recommendations.

Energy Efficiency (star rating)

The star ratings are based on u-values for most elements – the better the u-value the more stars are allocated, except for floors and secondary heating which are not allocated a rating.

Lighting

The rating for lighting is based on a sliding scale of percentages of low energy fixed outlets present in the property.

Heating

Heating is rated according to the cost of a unit of heat supplied to the space. This means the unit cost of the fuel (expressed in pence/kWh) divided by the efficiency (expressed as a fraction) of the appliance. The unit costs are shown in SAP Table 12. Where a high and low rate applies, the unit is a weighting of the high and low rate prices according to the assumed number of kWh per year used at each price.

Water

Domestic hot water is handled similarly to space heating; the rating is allocated once the unit price is referenced from SAP Table 12 and divided by a factor for the water heating efficiency.

Following this section you will find information about primary energy use. Primary Energy use includes a factor which is the amount of energy used to produce one kilowatt of power for the household. The Primary Energy varies according to the fuel used in the dwelling for heating, hot water, pumps and lighting. Table 12 within the SAP 2012 document deals with fuel prices for the SAP rating but also includes the Primary Energy Factor per fuel which is multiplied by the amount of kilowatt hours the household uses to produce the figure for the EPC.  It has no effect on the costs mentioned in the Estimated Energy Costs on the EPC.  The actual SAP rating is based on that household’s assumed consumption.

Estimated energy costs

This next section aims to show how much an ‘average household’ could expect to spend if they lived in a top-floor flat with a floor area of 71m2  taking into account the thermal properties of the roof, walls and floor as input by the DEA. The figures are always based on the same assumption. These figures do not take into account how the family living in the property uses the heating and lighting appliances which are present. They are based on figures pre-determined in the SAP methodology.

Recommended measures and alternative measures:

Based on the information which has been input about each individual dwelling, the software will calculate suggestions for improving the energy efficiency, and these are listed in the format as shown below. Measures which the householder may wish to also consider are listed directly underneath the recommended measures.

Home heat demand

The figures which appear in this section are used when applying under the schemes such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).  

Addendum

The last item on the EPC is the Addendum/Additional information section. This lists any additional information which the input relating to the property has generated. Using the example of a stone house, the following additional detail has printed.

Details of the Assessor and Accreditation Scheme 

This part of the EPC gives full contact details of the Energy Assessor who carried out the assessment. Any queries about the content of the EPC should in the first instance be directed to the DEA. 

It shows details about the assessor's name, their accreditation scheme membership number, their employment details, and contact details.


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