The energy ratings of residential and commercial buildings are determined by verifying their compliance with the latest energy consumption government regulations. Properties rented, sold, or built in Belfast, Northern Ireland are legally required to have an energy performance certification. But what’s the importance of Energy Performance Certificates and why do they matter? Does the EPC rating affect the saleability of a house? EPC-Belfast, who are qualified energy assessors in Belfast, answer these questions.
What’s an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate or EPC is an energy efficiency rating that’s determined based on a building’s current energy performance and energy consumption. Global energy usage levels are mostly influenced by the industrial and residential sectors, which account for around 40% of the current energy usage. The European Union introduced the EPC as part of its HORIZON 2020 project, which sought to reduce CO2 and energy utilization levels across Europe.
EPCs categorize properties between A to G, which G being the least efficient and A being the most efficient. The rating is issued on a scale of 0-100 as well. EPCs remain valid for a period of ten years and offer comprehensive information regarding the running expenses and energy usage of a building. EPCs also offer effective solutions that can be implemented to save money and reduce energy usage levels.
What Happens in An EPC Survey?
EPC survey procedures may vary, based on the characteristics and overall size of the house/property. Residents of Belfast will need to first contact an official Belfast Domestic Energy Assessor or DEA, who will request certain details regarding the house. Details like energy bills, HVAC equipment invoices, and floorplan drawings will also have to be provided. If it’s an old house where the owner doesn’t have these papers, the Assessor will personally survey the property to gather the information they require.
A site visit has two components – an external inspection and an internal inspection. Inspecting a property with 3 rooms or less generally takes around 2 hours. Details regarding the property’s light bulbs, HVAC system, insulation system, windows, walls, will all be gathered during the inspection.
The collected data will be entered into an approved software program which will generate an EPC along with useful recommendations that can help mitigate the property’s energy utilization levels.
Effect of The EPC Rating on Property Prices
An energy-efficient property is generally seen as more valuable due to the reduced running costs they require. Additionally, a sizeable investment will also be required to upgrade a property with a low energy efficiency rating to a property with an A/B energy rating. However, the most important priorities for most buyers are the property’s age, size, and location. Energy performance generally ranks much lower on the list of priorities.
While an EPC does not dictate a property’s selling price directly, it does play an important role in the appeal it has to prospective buyers.
Does A Low EPC Rating Dampen A Property’s Prospects on The Market?
Real estate experts generally agree that low EPC ratings almost never affect the sales prospects of a property.