Public and commercial buildings
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are now required for all commercial buildings over 50 square metres of floor area whenever built, rented or sold.
The certificate records how energy efficient a property is as a building and provides A-G ratings. These are similar to the labels now provided with domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines.
They are produced using standard methods and assumptions about energy usage so that the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another building of the same type. This allows prospective buyers, tenants, owners, occupiers and purchasers to see information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions from their building so they can consider energy efficiency and fuel costs as part of their investment.
An EPC is always accompanied by a recommendation report that lists cost effective and other measures (such as low and zero carbon generating systems) to improve the energy rating. A rating is also given showing what could be achieved if all the recommendations were implemented.
The certificate is important because almost 50 per cent of the UK's energy consumption and carbon emissions arise from our buildings, based on the way they are lit, heated and used. Even comparatively minor changes will have a significant effect in reducing energy consumption.