Energy performance certificates have been required on the design of new homes since 1995, when SAP was introduced.
The Energy Performance in Buildings Directive was adopted by the European Union in 2002 and includes a requirement that an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is to be produced whenever a building is constructed, sold or rented by a new tenant.
The Energy Performance in Buildings Directive was implemented in England and Wales in 2007 through:
• The Building Regulations for newly constructed buildings
• The Energy Performance of Regulations 2007 for existing buildings
The Energy Act 2011 came into being on 18th October 2011. This provides the primary legislation required to implement a range of further government initiatives to increase the uptake of energy efficiency measures, including:
• The Green Deal, which will use EPCs as the basis for identifying the improvement measures that can be supported by loans that can be repaid through electricity bills.
• Provisions to ensure that privately rented properties have an energy efficiency rating of at least band E from 2018
• A new Energy Company Obligation to provide additional support alongside the Green Deal for vulnerable people on low incomes and ‘hard-to-treat’ homes.
Two further developments also lead to additional situations where EPCs are required:
• EPCs will support the implementation of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which is planned to be implemented in October 2012.
• The consultation on revisions to the Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT) for renewable electricity generation that closed on 23 December 2011 confirms views that minimum energy efficiency requirements should be met based on an EPC before applying for Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT).