Solar PV EPC - Energy Performance Certificates
Before you start
If you’re thinking about installing a system to generate your own heat, make sure your home is as well insulated as it can be so your heat-producing system can be most efficient.
Focus on improving insulation and tackling draughts.
To get Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) at the standard rate for solar PV your property needs to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of band D or better.
If your EPC is a band E, F or G you will need to carry out energy efficiency improvements before applying for the FITs or receive the lower rate of 7.1p/kWh for the lifetime of the tariff, currently 20 years If you have no EPC, you can use the tools on this website for an indication of the EPC band for your property and suggestions to improve its energy efficiency to gain a higher EPC band rating, before paying for an EPC.
You are required to send to your FITs supplier an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to evidence your property has an EPC band D or better at the time of application to get the standard rate of FITs.
If your property is band E or less when you first apply you will receive the FIT at the lower rate- even if you improve your property’s EPC band to D or higher at a later date. This requirement applies only to new solar PV systems and extensions of existing solar PV systems with an eligibility date on or after 1 April 2012. At a later date these requirements may also apply to wind turbines and micro-CHP (both under consultation).
Why is this now a requirement?
This requirement was introduced by the UK Government to ensure homes meet minimum standards of energy efficiency before encouraging solar PV uptake. Reducing energy demand is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions and therefore should be prioritised before installing microgeneration technologies such as solar PV.
What is an EPC?
EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They inform
the person using the building how costly it is likely to be to heat /power, and what carbon dioxide emissions there will be.
Once produced, EPCs are valid for ten years. They also state the potential energy efficiency rating if improvements are made, and highlights cost effective ways to achieve this.
How do I get an EPC?
If you bought or rented your property after 1 October 2008 you should have an EPC from the builder (for a new construction), seller or landlord when you bought or rented your property. If you did not, you can report this to your local trading standards at the Trading Standards Institute website and they can issue a fixed penalty notice. To meet FIT requirements you will have to proceed on the basis that you have no EPC.
• If you have an EPC it will state the current and potential band rating of your property.
• If the current rating of your property is a band D or better and your EPC certificate is less than 10 years old then you need take no further action to receive the FIT at the standard rate, other than sending the EPC to your FIT licensee when registering your installation.
• If your EPC shows your property is a band E, F or G you will need to carry out energy efficiency improvements before applying for the FITs or receive the lower rate for the lifetime of the tariff, currently 20 years.
If you had an EPC but have lost the certificate, you will need to contact the Approved Organisation whose member produced the original EPC:
• Approved Organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland at the Landmark website.
• Approved Organisations in Scotland at the Scottish Government website.
No existing EPC
For an indication of the likely EPC band rating of your property complete our free online Home Energy Check (HEC). You will be asked a number of questions about your property to generate a report.
Please note the Home Energy Check report is not valid as an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If you obtain an EPC for your property you may obtain a different rating to that given in the report. The HEC report is intended for general guidance only and not as a substitute for the application of professional expertise.
The only way to be sure of the EPC banding of your property is to pay for a visit from a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) for an EPC to be produced. Therefore you may need to pay for two EPCs if your property is not already a band D or better: one to find out and one after improvements are carried out.
DEA. If improvements are necessary our DEA should be able to advise you which recommendations will be necessary to take your property to a band D and which will take you beyond.
How to reach EPC band D
If you already have an EPC the EPC will set out the potential energy efficiency rating of your property if you undertake the Energy Performance Certificates and the Feed-in Tariff measures recommended on the summary at page 3. These will give you a good indication of the measures that you need to take to improve the energy efficiency of your property although the measures recommended may take you beyond what is required to achieve a band D.
To get an idea of what band your property might be in, use our Home Energy Check as suggested above. You can go back as many times as you like to enter new improvements and get an idea of whether you have improved your rating.
If you don’t have an EPC, for some homes (for example, a detached property with solid walls) it may be prohibitively expensive and impracticable to bring your property up to an EPC band D. At the moment, this requirement only applies to solar PV so you might want to consider other renewable energy technologies. Use our Renewables Selector to find out what might suit your needs.
Will installing solar PV increase the EPC rating?
Installing solar PV can improve a property’s EPC rating though this depends on multiple factors To receive the higher tariff, the FIT licensee will require the property to have level D or higher before the eligibility date. Normally, this means you can install panels, get a new EPC and submit your application with the EPC to get the higher rate.
If you are extending an existing installation by adding more panels, the rules are different. For extensions, the eligibility date is always the commissioning date for the new panels. You have to get your EPC done before you fit the panels, so they cannot contribute to your EPC rating for the purposes of getting the higher rate.
Contact us to provide you with an energy assessor who can produce the require Energy Performance Certificate for you.