The Energy Performance Certificate for Houses in Belfast Northern Ireland

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) depict the energy performance rating of buildings. EPCs are necessary for newly constructed buildings or buildings that have been advertised for sale or put out for rent. The following article is provided by www.epc-belfast.net one of the main supplies of EPCs in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The EPC enables comparison of the energy efficiency, carbon emissions and possible fuel costs of buildings of the same type for potential owners, buyers or tenants of a building. It also provides recommendations on how to improve the energy efficiency of the building.

EPCs are fashioned using the standard methods of energy usage. This is so that the energy efficiency of one building can be compared to the energy efficiency of another building of the same type very easily. As a result, this allows prospective buyers, tenants, owners and occupiers to see and compare information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions from a building, so they can consider energy efficiency and fuel costs as part of their investment decision.

The product of the EPC requires a home inspection by an accredited domestic energy assessor. An EPC also includes a recommendation report listing measures such as low and zero carbon generating systems which help to improve the energy rating of the building. The EPC also contains information about the rating that could be achieved if all the recommendations were implemented.

When is an EPC required?

When a building is marketed for sale or rent, your agent will need the EPC as s/he is legally bound to include the energy performance indicator from the certificate on any commercial media for that property. This could include brochures, newspaper advertisements and property websites. A simple ‘for sale’ or ‘for let’ board or sign would not require the energy performance indicator to be included.

When a potential buyer or tenant first makes an enquiry about a building or views the building they must be shown the EPC and recommendation report. This is the responsibility of either the agent or the seller that is acting on their behalf.

Also, when a building is either sold or rented out, a copy of the EPC must be presented to the eventual buyer or tenant in that building.

EPCs are not only for domestic buildings

There is a requirement to be met by some commercial buildings that are visited by the public to display an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It is the responsibility of the building occupier to display and EPC and the EPC must be displayed in color and at least A4 in size. It needs to be located in a prominent place that is clearly visible to members of the public who visit the building.

What if you do not have an EPC

There are laid out penalties for each offence which varies and is laid out in the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (NI).  For example: For failing to provide an EPC or failing to display, offenders can be fined up to £200 (dwellings) and £500 – £5,000 (any other property). Failing to display an EPC the penalty is £500. Failure to display a valid DEC at all times in a prominent place clearly visible to the public the penalty is £500. Also failure to have possession of a valid DEC advisory report the penalty is £1,000. Failure to have your air-conditioning system inspected or failing to have a copy of the ACIR the penalty is £300.