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George Achilleos
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George Achilleos
Hi Ann, I think the article partially proves the point that more information needs to be provided to landlord with regards to EPCs. I am an assessor so I can understand your confusion and frustration. If I explain your comments, hopefully it will help provide a better understanding as to why the results differ. Firstly, the difference in the results. The assessment that would have been done 10 years ago on a new build house would be a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). This assessment is done at the design stage and completed once the property is completed at the as built stage. Within this assessment, you build up the property from scratch, building layer upon layer to create the U-value of each fabric. This means that construction such as SIPS would not be ignored and the U-value of the fabric taken to create the total of the external walls. At the as built stage an air pressure test would be conducted and included in the SAP assessment to create the SAP EPC. Ventilation systems and heat pumps could also be included with either the list provided of make/models or manually inputting the efficiency of the model. The SAP EPC also varied with thermal transmittance showing in the star rating chart. Now 10 years later, the EPC you would have received would be produced via the Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure (RdSAP). This EPC which is the standard domestic EPC is based on a visual inspection and not as indepth as the SAP Assessment (hence the reduced data part). We have to do the assessment on the day visually and gaining access where we can. If we attend a property and for example, the landlord states they've had a new roof done and it's fully insulated, we cannot just take their word for it and require evidence for what we enter in the software. Evidence such as photos during the works or building control sign off is perfectly acceptable but just taking someone's word, unfortunately is not. If there is evidence that the property was constructed with SIPS in would be entered as a system built property dependent on the layout or might be a cavity wall if layered extra. With regards to the heat pumps, I do a lot of EPCs for RHI applications and haven't come across the issue of them showing a low rating (unless entered incorrectly). As the EPC uses the basic info on the day, that is why the rating would be less. Now should the EPC be updated...YES totally. I believe it is a good tool to use to help clients save energy and money but only if used correctly. If I use the example of the light fittings, we only include "fixed" fittings therefore portable lamps are not included although a household might only use them. The default figures are also dated with a default U-value of DG windows showing at a value of 2.6, when in reality is is between 1.8 to 1.4. I also think infrared thermography is a good tool to use in conjunction with the EPC as it can show leakages from windows or missing insulation. So not only should more information and better explanation of the EPC should be provided, it should also be updated to be more specific to the requirements of the property and/or household.

From: George Achilleos 24 September 2019 22:31 PM

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