FAQ - Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) measures how energy efficient a property is. A properties performance is rated in terms of the energy use per square meter of floor area, energy efficiency based on fuel costs and environmental impact based on Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Every EPC measures the overall energy efficiency rating of a property. The measurement is indicated from A to G and is based on points given to the various elements of efficiency such as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, boiler type and double glazing. The highest rating is A (92 plus) and the lowest rating is G (up to 20).

Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate?

From 1st April 2012, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has put in place a minimum energy efficiency requirement for anyone wanting to install solar panels on their building and claim the full FIT rate. Properties will be required to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘D’ or above to qualify for the full FIT rates. It is estimated that around half of all properties are already eligible for a ‘D’ rating.

Is a proposed Solar PV installation taken into consideration for an EPC assessment?

The installation of a Solar PV system will add to the EPC rating and this improvement will be taken into account for the EPC assessment. Therefore a proposed Solar PV installation is taken into consideration when carrying out an EPC assessment and can be used to achieve the minimum EPC rating of 'D' required to qualify for the full FIT rate.

You cannot improve the properties energy rating retrospectively to a FIT application to achieve a 'D' rating or higher and then re-apply for the full FIT rate.

Do I have to arrange for an EPC assessment before Watt-NRG can quote or install a Solar PV system?

No, Watt-NRG offer this service and will arrange for an EPC assessment to be carried out. You will be provided with the Energy Performance Certificate once the Solar PV installation is complete.

Will there be an additional charge for the ECP assessment?

No, Watt-NRG does not charge any extra for the assessment or certification of an Energy Performance Certificate. All EPC assessments are included within our quotation for the installation of a Solar PV system. However, if you decide not to go ahead with the Solar PV installation after an EPC assessment has been undertaken then you will be charged for this service. Please see your quotation for further information on cost.

What is the FIT rate for a property that does not qualify for an EPC rating of 'D' or above?

Solar PV systems installed to a property with a EPC rating of 'E' or lower will only qualify for the reduced FIT rate of 9p/kWh.

What about buildings, such as farm buildings & Outbuildings that can not qualify for an EPC?

Under the DECC requirement, Solar PV installations will only be eligible for standard FIT tariffs if they can provide a valid EPC at the time of application for FITs, showing a rating of level D or higher for the property to which the solar panels are attached or wired to provide electricity.

So if the solar PV system was providing electricity for use in the farmhouse or domestic residence, then the dwelling would need to have an EPC at band D or higher. If a farmyard building or other such non-domestic building has a separate electricity supply, bill, and separate MPAN number from the primary dwelling, and was not wired to the dwelling, it may not need an EPC.

Generators (owners of the Solar PV system) will need to satisfy their FIT licensee (energy supplier) and OFGEM that it is not possible to obtain an EPC for a particular building, and that it is not wired to a building that could.

Generators will need to satisfy FIT Licensees and OFGEM that it is not possible to obtain an EPC for a particular building in support of their application for FITs. This evidence could, for example, be in the form of a declaration or letter from an accredited Energy Assessor who has visited the site in question and who confirms that it is not possible to provide an EPC for the building to which the Solar PV installation is attached should be submitted. Generators will also need to satisfy FIT Licensees and OFGEM that the installation is not wired to any other buildings for which it is possible to obtain an EPC.

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Watt-NRG did a great job on our installation; they were prompt, tidy and efficient. After a year, the installation is out-performing the generation promises with no problems. Very pleased.