Carter Thomas Construction provide a full EPC service free of charge when you order any Solar PV system with us. If you proceed with the installation we will provide this certificate with your handover pack showing your home meeting a grade ‘D’ or above. If your home does not meet a grade ‘D’ or will not with the addition of your solar PV system we will inform you of this before we proceed any further with your order, at which point you can either:
New rules on the payment of the Feed-in Tariff (FITs) for solar PV installations came into force from the 1st April 2012. From that date you are required to send to your FITs supplier an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) showing that your property has an EPC band D or above at the time of your application to receive the standard rate of FITs rather than the lower rate
If your property is a band E or less when you first apply for FIT then you will receive the FIT at the lower rate. Note that even if you improve your property’s EPC band to a D or higher at a later date you will still get the lower rate.
This requirement applies only to new solar PV systems and extensions of existing solar PV systems installed from 1st April 2012. This is not a retrospective requirement for existing solar PV systems. At a later date these requirements may also apply to wind turbines and micro-CHP (both currently under consultation).
Why is this now a requirement?
This new requirement has been introduced by the UK Government because they want to ensure that homes meet minimum standards of energy efficiency before they encourage the installation of solar PV. The UK Government states that this is because reducing demand for energy is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions and therefore a process that should be prioritised before installing microgeneration technologies such as solar PV. The UK Government state that “Currently, around 51% of all dwellings are rated at EPC level D or above, and 47% of all dwellings except flats (this compares to 13% of dwellings at EPC level C or above)”.
What is an EPC?
Much like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They let the person using the building know how costly it is likely to be to heat and power, and what carbon dioxide emissions there will be.
Once produced EPCs are valid for ten years. The EPC will also state what the energy efficiency rating could be if improvements are made, and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating.
If you bought or rented your property after 1st October 2008 you should have received an EPC from the builder (for a new construction), seller or landlord when you bought or rented your property.
If you have an EPC it will state on the first page under the table headed ‘Energy Efficiency Rating’ the current and potential band rating of your property.
If you have had an EPC but have lost the certificate, there is no need to worry, we can find the document on the EPC register.
No existing EPC
A good way to get an indication of the likely EPC band rating of your property is to complete the free online Home Energy Check (HEC) on the Energy Saving Trust Website. If you use this tool you will be asked a number of questions about your property which are then used to generate a report. Please note that the Home Energy Check the report is not valid as an EPC.
How to reach EPC band D
If you already have an EPC:
Will installing solar PV increase the EPC rating?
Yes. There are a number of ways to get a property up to an EPC band D rating including the installation of solar PV though this will depend on areas such as property type. However, for the sake of an application, all the FIT licensees require is that the property has a level D or higher before an application for FITs is made, to receive the standard tariff.