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An accredited Energy Assessor visits the property to collect only the data required for assessing energy features, and generates an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) using government-approved software. The assessment is based on the construction and type of dwelling and relevant fittings (heating systems, insulation or double glazing, for example). It is not a structural or building survey, condition report or property valuation. An EPC should not be read as a comment on the overall condition of the property nor will it comment on the presence or otherwise of asbestos, high alumina cement concrete, additives including calcium chloride, or any building defects or hazardous materials. It will also not cover items or problems in the property which would be picked up in a building survey, which may be costly to rectify, as these are outside the scope of the data collected.

Go to http://britanniapropertyservices.co.uk/ and click the link to access the Domestic EPC Registers. Click on ‘Report Retrieval’ and follow the instructions on the screen.

This occurs when low energy lights are recommended and there is no recommendation for improvements to the heating system (usually because an efficient system is already installed). Standard light bulbs generate more heat than low energy light bulbs; by replacing standard bulbs with low energy bulbs the heat generated by the lighting is reduced and the heating system has to make up the difference. The reduction in the lighting cost is appreciably greater than the increase in the heating cost, so there is a net reduction in energy costs for the property.

EPCs use standardised assumptions so as to make properties directly comparable while still reflecting the features of individual properties. The EPC costs are based on a number of assumptions: a standardised heating pattern, number of occupants, hot water usage, etc. These factors vary appreciably between different households even if living in similar properties.

Standard occupancy is used to ensure the EPCs can be compared by prospective buyers or tenants with other homes. The EPC costs account for energy used for heating, lighting and hot water, but do not include for other energy uses in a property, for example cooking or electrical appliances. An EPC is calculated based on standard occupancy rather than how an individual uses the property and appliance use can vary significantly between users.

The EPC gives information on the current and potential energy performance of the property. It does not reflect the current condition of fabric or fittings, nor decorative state.

The energy assessment is non-invasive. For insulation to be included in the assessment there must be evidence, either visual or documentary, of specific works relating to the property being assessed. If insulation has been added but there is no access for the energy assessor to observe it or relevant documentary evidence, it cannot be included. In these cases the level of insulation is assumed based on the age of the relevant part of the dwelling. This applies to roof insulation, floor insulation and wall insulation.

A home’s heat demand is the amount of energy the dwelling would require to heat it to standard occupancy levels and to provide hot water, without consideration of the efficiency of the heating system. Primary energy is a measure of the energy required for lighting, heating and hot water, taking account of the efficiency of the heating system (and the power station efficiency in the case of electricity) and the energy expended in extracting the fuel from its source and in conveying it to the dwelling.

This is a summary of the dwelling’s energy performance. Each element (walls, roofs, heating system, etc.) of the dwelling has been rated between one and five stars based on energy efficiency (one star being least efficient and five stars most efficient). The rating is assessed by the software on the basis of age of property, construction type and features. This relates to energy efficiency, not appearance. It does not take into account the physical condition or quality of the element.

A star rating for secondary heating is not shown in the “summary of this home’s energy performance related features” because no recommendations are made for improvement of secondary heating. A star rating for floor insulation is not shown because the thermal performance of the floor depends not only on the construction and insulation levels but also on the size and shape of the floor, so that comparison between different properties is not meaningful.

The indicative cost of recommendations are those that apply to a typical property. They may differ for very small or very large properties or ones with special features. The cost data are compiled by the Energy Saving Trust from various sources including EST’s Housing Model and Low Carbon Building Programme Analysis.

Energy Efficiency shows the extent to which the element contributes to the fuel costs of the dwelling. If an element has an energy efficiency performance of 1 or 2 stars this means that it results in higher than average fuel costs for the dwelling. This relates to energy efficiency, not appearance. It does not take into account the physical condition or quality of the element. It is an indication of how much more (or how much less) the home will cost to run.

Storage heaters are recommended as they are cheaper to run, making use of low-rate night-time electricity. However the total amount of electricity used by a storage heater system is greater than that used by conventional panel heaters. Therefore the resultant Energy Efficiency Rating is improved as running costs are reduced but the Environmental Impact Rating is made slightly worse as the total amount of energy used increases.

The EPC provides an indication of the potential energy performance of the property and in this case has identified that the current boiler is not the most efficient boiler available. The recommendation to improve the boiler to a more energy efficient boiler is made purely on the energy efficiency rating of the boiler and is not a reflection of the age or condition of the currently installed boiler. This recommendation identifies that there are more efficient boilers available and that a homeowner should consider this when they next have to replace the boiler.

The EPC identifies the current and potential energy performance of the property but does not take into account the age or physical condition of any of the elements assessed.

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