EPC rating of F – how is this possible?

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EPC rating of F - how is this possible?I’ve been informed by my letting agents that my property has been given an EPF rating of F.

What I don’t understand is why, it’s not that it’s poorly insulated.

My house has more than the industry standard loft insulation, it has cavity wall insulation and is fully double glazed throughout, plus a modern and up to date combi boiler and recent roof repairs.

Not that it makes any difference to insulation so far as I know but I also have UPVC soffits and guttering and renewed chimney.

Any help would be appreciated.

Kind regards

Stuart Logan.

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Comments

  • Unless you are neglecting to tell us that one side of the house is completely missing a wall Stuart I think you can be pretty confident that somebody has made a mistake here. The first thing you should do is contact your letting agent and the Domestic energy assessor who completed the report in order to raise your concerns.


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  • What does it say on the certificate to back this up? I bought a terraced house without double glazing, without insulation, with a conventional boiler and that was an E. I think you have been mugged on this one.


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  • Stuart. As a Domestic Energy Assessor dealing with a lot of rental properties, I may be able to shed some light on what has happened here. In 99% of cases when doing an EPC on a rental property, the property is empty and the property owner is usually not available to answer queries. On rare occasions it is simply not possible to tell if cavity wall insulation is installed if the property is rendered, painted or if the insulation has been installed through removing bricks rather than through drilled holes (or perhaps it has been re-pointed). Where we cannot be sure that an insulation measure is installed we have to enter the data as “As built” which assigns the insulation standards set out in the building regs at the time the property was built. This scenario can apply to several aspects of the building.

    The other vital piece of information is the fuel that the boiler is using. If it is mains gas then I would expect a higher score, whereas Oil or (God forbid!) LPG will not score as well.

    The way to see if there are any glaring errors is to have a look at page 2 of the EPC and check the entries in the “summary of this homes energy performance related features” table.

    For example – does it have “Cavity Wall, as built, No Insulation (assumed)” – That will show if the assessor was able to see if it had CWI.

    Check the number of stars in the right hand column – it would be rare to get 5 stars, but a decent (Gas) heating system should get 4 stars, and a filled cavity will get 3/4 stars.

    I could go on, but I hope you get the gist. If any of the page 2 stuff is inaccurate, you should contact the assessor and have it rectified.

    The assessors contact details are on the EPC (page 4) – If he/she has done their job correctly, they will have site notes and photos that they can refer to in order to jog their memory.

    Incidentally, if the EPC turns out to be accurate, and you don’t have Low Energy Lights fitted, then adding these will probably lift the score into the E band. Have a look at the “recommended measures” table on page 3.

    Hope that helps!

    Simon Holloway


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  • Tim Green says:

    On the face of it, I agree is doesn’t sound right. You should ask the person who did the assessment to go through it with you. (Name etc is on the EPC report). The only thing I can think of is that a. the property is on LPG – this makes a big difference or b. the assessor has mistakenly filed the boiler as on LPG – quite easy to do. It is also possible that the assessor has made a mistake somewhere in loading the data which can sometimes lead to a really low figure. If there are similar properties nearby, you could go onto http://www.hcrregister.com and put in your postcode and get a copy of a similar property’s EPC from there.


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  • Colin Childs says:

    My guess is that the property is on LPG. I did an EPC some years ago for a property with filled cavities, loft insulation and double glazing and it came out as F 28 because it was not on mains gas. When I lodged the EPC, I saw there was a previous EPC already lodged. When I opened it, the rating was D 55. The previous assessor had wrongly recorded the main heating as mains gas. I was surprised just how much difference it made. As I tell my customers: it’s not so much an energy efficiency rating; it’s more a cost-effectiveness rating!


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  • i have found these e p c can differ considerably, maybe he is a green deal accessor wanting to sign you up, expect this will happen a lot now, watch out !


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  • my experience is that EPCs are not worth the toilet paper they’re written on.

    I have one flat which is an F and is warm. I have another which is a D and is freezing!

    In the case of the F I eventually noticed that the surveyor had got the floor area wrong, which will distort all his ensuing calculations. This has happened on several other occasions. I’d have thought measuring things was a fundamental requirement for being a surveyor, but perhaps not.

    Also with the F, I told the surveyor the flat (top floor) had loft insulation. However, he put it down as not having loft insulation as he didn’t want to go up there to verify it for himself.

    I bought these EPCs through the NLA who then employed a local surveyor.


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  • i agree with kevint. most, if not all of these epc’s are not done by chartered building surveyors. i have seen many and they often contain glaring fundamental errors such as confusing cavity with solid walls and double with single glazing.


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  • I think the general feeling on here is that EPC are a waste of time carried out by people who either do not have sufficient skills or make far too many assumptions. It may not be the assessors fault where they work within the rules but as has already been stated, too many basic errors are also made.

    Why should you assume the loft or the cavity walls are not insulated just because the owner is not there to tell you (Have a look). And if the owner is there and he tells you they are insulated (When they are not) this presumably is ok because it is no less accurate than the previous assumption.

    The problem is these wholly unsatisfactory documents are being used to beat us with. Soon you will not be able to Let some properties in the lower bands and who will bet against the ratings being used for taxation purposes in the future in the same way as the emissions ratings of cars?


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  • Colin Childs says:

    I understand (and empathise) with the critical views about EPCs. I also have to accept that there are some inadequate assessors out there (see my previous post re the assessor who didn’t realise the boiler was fired by LPG not mains gas). However the rules are quite straightforward and compulsory. An assessor is not allowed to rely on the property owner’s/occupier’s word for the presence of insulation. Worst case must always be assumed unless physical or documentary evidence to the contrary is available. It is a non-destructive assessment, so assessors cannot drill into and boroscope walls to confirm insulation. There are reasonably thorough audit regimes, which will hopefully pick up the poorest of the incompetent assessors. My advice is if you want your properties to score as high as possible, provide your assessor with as much evidence as you can before they start the assessment………and don’t be offended when they can’t take your word for anything that isn’t backed up with physical or documentary evidence.


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