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Energy Performance Certificates


Advice for Sellers & Landlords

Important Information in relation to mandatory requirements to provide an EPC for existing dwellings being marketed either; For Sale (after 30th June 2008) or To Let (after 30th December 2008).

ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES FOR EXISTING DWELLINGS

In relation to existing dwellings which are on sale after the 30th of June 2008, and dwellings which are available to rent after 30th December 2008, the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008 establishes a legal duty on the relevant person to make available a valid EPC to a prospective buyer or tenant. This duty is satisfied by making available (free of charge) a copy of the certificate.

In the case of an existing dwelling the ‘relevant person’ is the seller (and in relation to a building which is to be rented out, the landlord). He alone has the legal responsibility to make available a valid EPC.

Further provisions of the Regulations require that a valid EPC should be available when the prospective buyer or tenant requests information about the dwelling or views it or when he makes an offer to buy or rent it. The certificate should be available at the earliest opportunity before the conveyancing process commences and, as a constituent document in this process, it must be provided as part of the completion of the sale or commencement of a tenancy agreement..

There is no requirement in the Regulations to produce a new EPC every time there is a sale or new tenancy. A certificate is valid for 10 years and can be used multiple times during this period. If, however, an existing dwelling is sold (or rented out) after this period, the certificate will effectively expire and a new replacement EPC will be required which will, in turn, be valid for another 10 years and so on.

WHAT AN ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE FOR A HOME CONTAINS

For homes, two ratings are shown. The energy-efficiency rating is a measure of a home's overall efficiency. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the home is, and the lower the fuel bills are likely to be. The environmental impact rating is a measure of a home's impact on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions - the higher the rating, the less impact it has on the environment.

Each rating is based on the performance of the building itself and its services (such as heating and lighting), rather than the domestic appliances within it. This is known as an asset rating. The certificate also lists the potential rating of the building if all the cost-effective measures were installed.

The ratings will vary according to the age, location, size and condition of the building. The potential rating on the certificate will take these factors into account, and the suggested measures will be tailored so that they are realistic for the particular building.

In addition to the asset ratings, EPCs must convey several other key pieces of information:

Reference information
This includes the type of property (e.g. house, flat), the unique reference number (as stored in the central register) and date of the certificate.

Estimated energy use
This is based on standardised assumptions about occupancy and heating patterns. An estimate of the current and potential energy use, carbon emissions and fuel costs for lighting, heating and hot water is provided. The actual energy use depends on the behaviour of the occupants.

Energy Assessor details
This includes the assessor's name, accreditation number, company name (or trading name if self employed) and contact details.

Complaints
The certificate will provide information about how to complain or how to check the certificate is authentic.

Energy advice
The certificate provides basic advice about energy efficient behaviour.

Recommendation report
The certificate is accompanied by a report which includes recommendations to improve the energy ratings. Recommendations include cost effective improvements and further improvements (that achieve higher standards but are not necessarily cost effective). For each improvement the level of cost, typical cost savings per year and the performance rating after improvement are listed. The potential rating shown on the certificate is based on all the cost effective recommendations being implemented.

DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT!

The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008

Penalty Charges
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

EXISTING DWELLINGS [regulation 5(2)] failure to make available, free of charge, a valid EPC or a recommendation report [regulation 7] to any prospective buyer or tenant or to the person who ultimately becomes the buyer or tenant [regulation 5(3)]

£200 per offence

To arrange a Domestic Energy Assessment Survey of your property to provide you with the required EPC please ring us today on 028 7134 1947

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