Energy performance certificate

Apparently for selling (or even renting out) a house you need an Energy performance certificate.

It seems to me that this is a well meaning, but totally pointless, rule.

I have berated the fact that so much of the needed paperwork is not prepared before selling, but this is one of the few things that is expected, yet not actually any use. The world is mad some times.

Does anyone read them?

Even the guy doing the report agreed nobody reads them. Even if they do, do they actually take this in to account in a house purchase decision? We are "average", so err, fine.. I guess.

Are they accurate?

This is the main bit that bugs me. As I say, nobody reads them, but our house is rated "D" which is average, but then has recommendations and details of CO₂ production.

Except the report is wrong. It says, for example, we do not have any insulation under the floor. Well, I know we do, and even provided pictures for the assessor. However, he checked, as as he is unable to report the thickness he has to report that there is none, and even recommend some is installed! So the report is factually wrong.

Also, the house has 5 air-con units - these are air source heat pumps which are efficient for heating. The report does not cover this at all, only listing the gas central heating. I have not even bothered to ask why - given that we are "average" and "nobody reads these anyway". Oddly, installing heat pumps is not one of the recommendations.

As for the CO₂ production - given that most of the heating is electric and we are on a 100% green energy tariff, the figures he quotes are totally wrong. Oddly, installing solar panels is a recommendation, and is good - but how does it change the efficiency as we are just "using someone else's solar panels" if on a 100% green energy tariff.

But, as nobody reads them, what do I care? I have one, so it goes with the house sale paperwork. Total waste of time.

P.S. One of the factors (in this 10 year life certificate) is if low energy light bulbs are (currently) fitted. How the hell is the choice of light bulb fitted at the time of the assessment a factor in the energy efficiency of the house as a whole. At best it should be "has standard light fittings allowing low energy light bulbs to be fitted", which is like every house.

P.P.S. It occurred to me - what if I had removed any non-low-energy light bulbs when he did the survey, would that have made us 100% low energy and a better rating. After all you don't get lower energy than no light bulb fitted!


  1. Insulation under a concrete floor is always impossible to inspect, the concrete is above it. How can this ever make sense if they can't report on insulation unless they can see it? What about cavity wall insulation, how do they inspect that and measure it?

    1. They assume that from date of build I think. It's a farce,

    2. Cavity wall installers will provide a certificate on completion, and the energy efficiency assessor will use these (assuming you provide them, of course).

  2. I've looked at buying two houses at either end of a block of terraced houses. According to the EPC one of them has solid concrete non standard construction walls with no insulation at all; yet the other end has external insulation. The wall is the same thickness through the entire block. One of these reports must be incorrect.

  3. You can game the system by fitting lots of low energy bulbs and some solar panels (which is what we did on our previous house). Even after new windows, extra cavity insulation and a new boiler etc was freezing on a winter day. But the EPC rated it at the top end of 'B', whereas our present home which has much more insulation and only needs the heating on briefly except on the coldest of days is rated 'D'.
    The shame is that this could be a useful tool for homebuyers if it had any connection to reality, and if people cared about their energy use (but they don't, as evidenced by the large number of big SUVs sold).

    1. Yes, the other irony here is I have CO2 monitors now, and as a result I actually have way more ventilation than I used to, even in winter, and hence need more heating!

  4. complaining about European Union Directive 2002/91/EC?

    if you're not careful someone'll think you're a closet brexiteer

  5. In Scotland the EPC can be used to access government support to put in place the energy efficency measures it proposes.

  6. In Scotland, the EPC can be used to access government support for the measures it suggests... Does Wales have similar?

  7. They have a purpose in that there's a minimum level (F from this year IIRC) where you can rent the property out.

    In England nobody takes a blind bit of notice of regulations such as these unless you report it REPEATEDLY to environmental health at your local council.

    In Scotland (where the law isn't wholly in favour of the landlord) they do and you WILL get fined for illegally renting the property. As will whoever advertised/marketed the property.

    In terms of accuracy - E and above is much of a muchness to the "assessors" as they know they're only going to get serious comeback from landlords where its F and below.

    We got our 4 bed detached up from D (where it belongs) to 80 (one point off a B) by putting £50 of insulation in the loft and changing the last remaining halogen bulb to LED. The house leaked so much air behind the 1980s dot&dab fitted plasterboard it may as well have no cavity wall insulation at all!

    Then again the "assessors" get a risibly small fee so what do you expect?

  8. Current dot and dab plasterboard is if anything worse than the 1980s version. They seem to stand the plasterboard even further off the walls these days, probably because it's quicker and easier to do. The last decent builders I saw were the old blokes that did some work at my parents in the early 1980s. All builders these days seem to be rubbish, hence I'm doing more of my own work as time goes on.


Comments are moderated purely to filter out obvious spam, but it means they may not show immediately.

TOTSCO - the top level - ordering

This should give you some idea of the issues with a simple matter of providing a broadband service. Bear in mind the broadband service may h...