In a previous article towards the end of last year I covered Energy Performance Certificates. In this article I will briefly outline how an EPC is produced. I am a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor for existing dwellings and will give you a brief run through of how an assessment is undertaken.

When I visit a property I have to make a purely visual assessment of the energy producing / consuming elements within the property i.e. what you can see will be entered into the software which produces the final EPC. Anything that is hidden can be assessed only if there is satisfactory documentary evidence to establish that something such as wall or ceiling insulation is actually in place in the building.

The first part of the visit is relatively straightforward. Measurements are taken at the property, either internally or externally depending on the surveyor’s choice, this enables me to establish the square footage of the property; I use internal measurements; the height of the rooms is also noted. The bigger the floor area and higher the room height the more energy is required to heat up the home. I photograph different elements of energy usage or heat retention / loss around the house. The elevations of the property and roof type are also photographed as well as wall and window thickness and evidence of cavity insulation. The name and model of central heating boiler and fuel type is noted, certain fuels are more economic than others. The distribution  of heat is established be it by the radiators, under floor etc. The boiler age is also established; this has a bearing on the efficiency of the appliance. The water heating system is inspected to see what type of insulation covers the hot water cylinder and if there is a cylinder thermostat present. The form of lighting is noted, be it low energy lighting or otherwise. Other elements are photographed such as meters, oil tanks and heating controls.

The roof void is accessed to establish the depth of the loft insulation and the form of construction of a Party wall in an attached property is noted.

The information gathered during the inspection is then entered into software which produces the final document.

All the elements inspected during the visit are photographed so that an independent assessor can check your work for quality assurance purposes and this person is able to make an assessment of the building from the photographs provided.