What’s an Energy Performance Certificate?

Filed Under: Home repair    by: ITC

There’s a program in the UK that looks like it might make it’s way here to the United States.   An energy performance certificate (EPC) is very similar to the “EnergyStar” stickers that we see here on major appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners.  However, instead of showing the efficiency of an appliance,  these certificates break down the energy efficiency of your home.  A similar certificate is available for commercial buildings, and is referred to as a commercial epc certificate.  In any case, both create a nice graphical depiction of not just the potential energy costs of a structure, but also some recommendations for improvement.

Here’s an image showing some of the similarities of an EPC certificate and an EnergyStar Label:

EPC on left, EnergyStar on Right

 

An EPC covers:

  • detailed information on a home’s energy efficiency, as well as the typical costs
  • a  set of recommendations, in a report that outlines ways to conserve energy
  • full contact information for the firm that performed the EPC assessment

Energy use and potential savings

An EPC, similar to the aforementioned EnergyStar tag, shows a home’s current rating, but also compares that rating with what’s achievable with some improvements.  Similar to school, the various areas are given a letter grade.  Unlike school, however, the range goes from ‘A’ to ‘G’, with A being the highest rating, and a ‘G’ being the lowest. There are standards in place where the letter grades are derived from standard calculations to ensure consistency in measurement.

The Report

Aside from the letter grade, the EPC  also includes a set of recommendations that offer more detail on how you could save money by reducing your energy consumption.  For each suggestion, other data is included to help you make a decision on which changes make the most sense.  The general structure looks like this:

  • A description of the proposed change. (e.g., add insulation to your attic )
  • The potential yearly cost savings you would realize if you implemented the change
  • The change to the letter grade for that area if the change were completed
  • Whether or not government funding, rebates, or other incentives are available to help offset the costs of the improvement.

Of course, there are side benefits to enacting these changes as well.   From a “green planet” perspective, anything that makes a home more efficient will reduce impact to the environment.  And, from a more selfish point of view, resale value of your home goes up as it becomes more efficient.

This seems like an interesting and worthwhile program that we hope makes it to our shores.

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