Energy Performance Certificates in England & Wales

EPC England

An EPC indicates how energy efficient a building is and rates the building A through G. The labels are also provided when buying new domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. EPCs are produced using standard methods and assumptions about energy usage so that assuming the building is located in the same country (the scale between England and Scotland differs) buildings of similar types can be compared. This allows prospective buyers, tenants and occupiers to see energy efficiency and carbon emissions from their building so they can consider energy information and fuel costs as part of their investment.

An EPC is always accompanied by a recommendations report that lists cost effective and other measures including low and zero carbon generating systems to improve the energy rating. Each recommendation is assessed against the potential impact over three payback periods. The certificate is an important initiative in Europe because nearly 40% of Europe's energy consumption and carbon emissions arise from the way buildings are heated and lit.

More information on EPCs in England & Wales can be found in this guide produced by Communities & Local Government here

Display Energy Certificates (DECs) in England & Wales

A Display Energy Certificate (DEC) is a legal requirement for public buildings in England and Wales. It is intended to reflect the Operational Rating of a building. The rating is an indicator of the amount of energy consumed during the occupation of the building over a period of 12 months calculated according to the government methodology.

Unlike an EPC, a DEC shows the amount of energy used and this is based on a meter reading. The Operational Rating is derived by comparing the energy consumption of the building with the benchmark energy consumption of other buildings representative of its type. In its very simplest form the operational rating is expressed as the total annual energy used by the building divided by the area of the building, compared to the energy use per unit area of building typical of its type.

As buildings often use more than one form of energy simply adding together annual consumptions of say gas and electricity would not be a useful accounting tool because the forms of energy represent different primary energies, different costs, and give rise to different carbon emissions. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions is used to allow a comparison on a common basis.