A guide to EPCs

Stroma Certification has recently seen an increase in queries around how certificates should be sent to clients, since the launch of the new register. Most of these queries are around the EPC for dwellings and non-dwellings.

The queries are valid, and we understand why the questions are being asked. In most cases agents and solicitors are under the belief that they must have one of the following;

  • The document in a particular file format (usually PDF)
  • The front page of the EPC
  • The 4 ratings scores - Actual and Potential EER and EIR

Now the world has changed, these stakeholders are running to catch up and unless guided otherwise they are simply stating that they need the above (or variations on these items) in order complete their business as usual processes. In many cases the agent’s software is requiring a file to be uploaded (not a link) and/or a number/letter to be entered so they can generate the EPC ratings graphs.

Until this has happened, then they cannot click the ‘go’ button for marketing via Rightmove/Zoopla etc, on their website, print particulars etc. It is understandable that Energy Assessors are coming under pressure from clients for something as simple as a PDF.
There are numerous changes to the EPC/DEC/ACIR that need to broadcast;

  • There is no PDF anymore – when an certificate is lodged, a link to the certificate is generated. This is all that is created.
  • The Energy Rating is at the top of the webpage, but the ratings graph is further down.
  • The Environmental Impact Rating (EIR) on EPCs has been removed
  • The rating for features is now words (Very good to very poor) rather than star ratings.

Many of these changes are as a result of customer feedback studies and reviewing what the requires of the law state. After discussing this with government, the following guidance should be read and understood by energy assessors.

The Guidance

The latest government guidance for dwellings and non-dwelling documents can be found at:

We have also reviewed other legal documents and .gov websites to cross check this including: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-weights-and-measures-guidance-for-energy-certificates-and-air-conditioning-inspections-for-buildings

Stroma Certification would therefore state that as long as the A-G rating is shown on the marketing material and the EPC is available via the marketing (via the link generated), compliance with EPBR is achieved. A valid EPC is now the document that exists on the webpage. This is the only version of the truth, and making copies is not necessary.

What Certificates can be printed?

All certificates contain a link for printing, and the following can be printed for display in buildings were required;

  • All DECs
  • Some Commercial EPCs
  • However, the print screen output on RdSAP and SAP EPCs is very much not formatted for printing or saving.

Please also note, that all schemes have been instructed by MHCLG that under no circumstances are we to provide a service where the PDF copy of the EPC webpage is created for members.

We therefore are directing all members to the lodged EPC/DEC web page via our software and members area.

Government will also be writing to industry to ensure guidance from them (especially to some of the large agents, online against and listings websites) is well understood.

“I absolutely agree that the move to a link for each EPC is the right decision for the future of EPCs, however the feedback is that that the changes are great/challenging for the industry and probably wasn’t anticipated/appreciated by schemes nor yourselves – we are one or two stages removed from the agents in most cases.

It is therefore crucial that through schemes and other stakeholders, we get this message out and I look forward to seeing the updated guidance from government for the wider industry. In the meantime, members area welcome to circulate this news item to clients, where they have questions.” Andrew Parkin, Director of Energy Certification

Useful Resources:
A guide to energy performance certificates for the marketing, sale and let of dwellings
A guide to energy performance certificates for the construction, sale and let of non-dwellings