Everyone likes a little makeover once in a while, which is why we’re pleased to let you know about the changes to the energy performance certificate (EPC). From the 20th September 2020, the government launched a new design with a more modern layout and special features exclusive to the digital version.
The EPC has been brought up to date for now and the future, with a simplified layout that makes it easier and faster to digest important information, new interactive features and a new access area on the gov.uk website. This is much like tax returns for HMRC or MOTs with the DVLA. The hope is that homeowners and landlords become engaged with the process and continue to improve the energy efficiency of their properties following advice from a government website.
Since 2008 the facility was managed by Landmark, however when the contract ended earlier in 2020, the government made the decision to bring the certification process ‘in house’.
This latest change will be the third version of the EPC and is designed to be more user friendly and easy to understand so that an owner, landlord or tenant can easily identify the recommendations to make their property more energy efficient. As you can see from the example below, the EPC certificate number is displayed prominently; this number is the same as the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) which the Lettings Industry Council believe is the first step towards each rental home in England and Wales having its own ‘property passport’.
The change is also important to homeowners, or prospective buyers, who will be able to easily spot where changes can be made to improve the energy efficiency of their current or future homes. It’s worth noting that this change is currently only applicable in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, though there are some changes coming to Scotland soon, too.
We have had some time now to digest these changes and our energy assessors have adapted to the new format. We now lodge all EPCs on the new website and the registers are combined, so all domestic and commercial EPCs are lodged in the same place. Each property has its own URL and the projected energy costs will fluctuate and update dependant on changing fuel prices. For example, whilst currently electricity is about three or four times as expensive as mains gas, this is likely to reverse in the future. The installation of renewable and carbon-free technologies is expected to increase rapidly as we approach 2050 and the Kyoto Protocol of 2005, which promised to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.
Here’s what a new EPC looks like:
All certificates can be found in the same place online, click here. You can search for an EPC by certificate number or via a postcode, but now also by using only the street name and town, meaning it’s easier than ever before to find an EPC. The certificates are no longer PDF files but are hosted online via individual links, though you can print and download a PDF version via the print menu to obtain a hard copy of each certificate.
The new certificate changes are not major but offer the chance for further developments on the road to better energy efficiency. While not all of us welcome change, this is a necessary step to future-proof the process of lodging EPCs, reduce carbon emissions and improve the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings.