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DT:TV Case Studies

Energy Performance Certificates: do you need one?


4th January 2009. You’re a cultural organisation with a public space greater than 1000m2 (c. 10,000ft2). Are you displaying your Energy Performance Certificate? (EPC). EU Legislation (the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive or EPBD) means that you should have on public display an EPC, produced by a qualified energy assessor. The certificate shows how well your building performs in energy use and emissions, compared to benchmarks and standardised bandings.

EPC certificate
EPC certificate

Do you need one?

An EPC must be displayed if:

  • the conditioned (heated/cooled) area of the building is over 1000m2
  • the building is occupied by public authorities or provides public services to a large number of persons
  • the building is frequently visited, at least weekly, by members of the public
  • the public have right of access to the building, or parts of the buildings providing services directly to the public
  • public funding, including part funding is used to operate, for general upkeep or to fund staff costs

Places of worship are excluded.

But, if you are a museum/heritage site/large gallery/large venue space, then chances are this legislation applies to you. There are Penalty Charge Notices that can be applied of £1,000, and £5,000 fines as well as Criminal Charges can be levied on organisations not complying.

For an existing building, you need to work with a qualified, accredited expert – professional organisations such as RICS, CIBSE, EI, HVCA, BRE, ABE, NES and CiH can all put you in touch with an energy assessor to make sure that you are working up your report right now. The expert will work with directive compliant methodologies and software and produce a certificate that will be valid for 10 years.

Get prepared

Before you meet your energy assessor, try and find as much information as you can about your building(s)’ fabric and constuction. You also need information on lighting, openings (doors and windows) and heating, ventilation and aircon systems. Digital versions (eg. .jpg, .pdf) of any floor plans will be essential as will any information that you have about electrical data and low/zero carbon (LZC) energy sources.

In Scotland this is all you will need as buildings will be assessed as assets, but in England, your building will also be assessed on its useage and operations, so have a clear idea of whether a space is used for office, reception, bar, etc. purposes.

Finally, even if you don’t need an EPC now, its worth bearing in mind that EPCPlus is currently being drawn up: its likely that by 2016 every building in Britain will need an EPC. Also, your customers may well be interested to see how environmentally friendly your building is!