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What is an EPC?

An EPC is a standardised certificate which provides an indication of the energy performance of your building. 

For domestic and commercial buildings the rating is calculated on the basis of an asset rating, which assumes standard use and occupancy of the building. 

For large buildings that require a DEC (currently limited to public sector buildings), the rating is operational and reflects actual energy usage, measured in CO2 emissions.

Both EPCs and DECs contain advice on energy performance improvements, cited as having short, medium and long term payback.  The reports place no obligation on the responsible person to carry out any of the suggested improvements.

When do I need an EPC?

By 01 January 2009 and thereafter, all commercial and domestic property for sale or to let will require an EPC at the earliest opportunity, which is likely to be before if is actively marketed. 

It is best practice to make the EPC available in time for the first day of marketing.

Why do I need an EPC?

The requirement for an EPC has been brought about as a direct result of the European Directive EC2002/91/EC.  The aim of this Directive is in part to reduce CO2 emission from buildings by 22% by 2010. 

In Northern Ireland the instrument for the implementation of this The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008. 

How much will an EPC cost?

EPCs will vary significantly in price from around £100 for a single dwelling, to several hundred pounds for a large commercial building, or building requiring a DEC.

What qualifications/training must an EPC Assessor have?

EPC Assessors are likely to have qualified by obtaining a recognised qualification in their specific field with one of the established awarding bodies, such as: Awarding Body for the Built Environment (ABBE) or National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP).

Alternatively, an Assessor may have applied to have previous professional experience and learning recognised.  This route is called Acquired Previous Experiential Learning (APEL) and is possible when the assessor has been undertaking similar professional projects for some time.

All Assessors must belong to a Government approved accreditation scheme.  These schemes monitor continuous training requirements of individuals and monitor/sample the quality of their work from time to time.


What happens if I decided not to get an EPC?

If you own a house that is for sale or to let, you risk a fine of £200 per offence.  This means that potentially you face paying a fine of £200 for each time you are required to produce an EPC and cannot do so.  Clearly, this amount could multiply rapidly.

If you own a commercial property that is for sale or to let, the fine for not producing an EPC can be up to £5000 per offence.

Solicitors will not permit purchasers/tenants to enter into contracts, unless an EPC has been made available free of charge.

Are there any exceptions, when I would not require an EPC?

You will not require an EPC where evidence exists to suggest that a building is to be demolished, or where the transaction has not taken place under normal open market conditions.

How long will my EPC last?

EPCs for dwellings and non dwellings are valid for 10 years.  DECs are valid for 1 year, with the accompanying advisory report being valid for up to seven years.

How will I receive my EPC?

EPCs for the most part can be communicated electronically and are individually stored on a Government database.  For domestic properties, this register is  For commercial properties, the register is


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