Energy Performance Certificates for buildings

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Energy Performance Certificates

Buildings are responsible for almost 50% of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions. The ways in which we light, heat and use our 25 million buildings all contribute to this. Even small improvements to energy performance and the way we use our buildings could have a significant effect on our fuel bills and carbon emissions and the UK’s commitment to tackling climate change.

Improving the energy performance of buildings

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The way a building is constructed, insulated, heated, ventilated and the type of fuel used all contribute to its energy consumption and carbon emissions.

The government is introducing a range of initiatives aimed at helping the UK improve the energy efficiency of its buildings and meet its carbon emission reduction targets, including Energy Performance Certificates.

From 6 April 2008, it will be law for builders to provide an Energy Performance Certificate for all new homes built and physically completed on or after this date.

From 6 April to 1 October 2008 there will be a phased EPC implementation for the construction of commercial buildings.

This law will only apply in England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland are both introducing their own regulations.

The Government is committed to its obligation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as part of the Government’s wider commitment to tackling climate change. These specific measures form part of the EU Energy Performance for Buildings Directive (EPBD), which all member states must implement by January 2009.

In summary:

  • EPCs help to tackle the significant contribution that buildings make to our total carbon emissions
  • EPCs focus on the energy efficiency of both new and existing buildings
  • EPCs provide specific and targeted information on individual buildings, by giving building an energy rating ranging from A-G
  • EPCs give us a true picture of our buildings’ energy efficiency and raise awareness of what energy efficiency improvements can be achieved
  • We have a long way to go to make our buildings energy efficient, and EPCs act as a valuable starting point

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