Lower EPC rating after improvements – Is there an official referee?

Lower EPC rating after improvements – Is there an official referee?

13:53 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago 13

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I have an EPC from 2009 which rated my house as a D67 this noted that there was ‘partial double glazing ‘ and recommended that full double glazing be fitted, which would boost the rating to a C76. This was duly done.

This report also confirmed that FULL Cavity wall insulation WAS in place I know this to be true from my own experience of working in the loft. The roof insulation is well over the top

The second EPC was commissioned and I naturally expected a C76. This one noted that there was full double glazing but now rated it as a D60?. This included a rating of  – Assumed partial cavity wall insulation and recommended full cavity wall insulation (which we actually have) which would raise it to a D67.

There is a worrying amount of inconsistency and potential unnecessary expense.

Is there an ‘Ofgem’ type of Ombudsman for EPC s or do we just have to set one inspector against the other?

I would prefer some sort of Official referee to expedite the decision and avoid personal unpleasantness.

Many thanks

Alan



Comments

Pamthomp33

14:03 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

Being the owner of 2 victorian buy to let properties that are currently D rated with recommendations for cavity wall insulation (not possible as houses have solid walls!), the next option is floor or wall insulation, both of which would be expensive and disruptive. I think most landlords would like to seek some sort of guarantee that if they do recommended works, that it will achieve the C rating required under the forthcoming changes in legislation.
Both properties are already double glazed and roof insulated with one having a combi boiler (the other boiler due for replacement soon) so there is little else I can do if I want to continue to rent them out.

DSR

14:31 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

in a word Alan - no.

First step is to go back to the assessor you used and ask how they measured this then check over all the detail he/she put to to come up with the rating.

Time consuming and soul destroying but has to be done. If something is found then it needs to be corrected. If no joy then go the body that accredits the assessor.

At the end of the day the whole EPC issue is a farce. Even the assessors (The good ones) know its limitations in current form and with no guidance as to how this is going to change etc, the whole process feels pot luck (or otherwise).

Do what we are all going..sit tight and see what comes to light...at the end of the day there is SO MUCH uncertainty about what direction and how EPC's are going to pan out at the moment its not worth doing anything at all. If you do what you beleive is necessary now you might not be able to class it as part of the LL 'contribution ' of up to 10k per property (that if it is even £10k at the end of all this???)

Who knows!

Grumpy Doug

15:06 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

Alan, over the years I've nurtured a good working relationship with a local EPC assessor. We have done a number of upgrades over the last couple of years, all documented and extensive pictures taken. I always do a walk around with him when he does an EPC to cover off any queries. He says that few owners do that and appreciates the involvement. So far, no nasty surprises

robert fisher

17:15 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

I have a victorian terrace with an E rating, having asked my agent to discuss getting this up to a C rating with their assessor i was assured a new boiler separate programmer/ timer, TRV's and low energy bulbs and min 150mm loft insulation , would be enough to get from an E to a C. total cost under £4000 and a C rating achieved. It is quite do able without the need to be coerced into a fire sale. I found no need to insulate floors or walls to gain a C rating.

John

19:00 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

I am pretty sure the rerating from partial to double glazed is incorrect.

Normally DG makes very little difference to the energy performance of a building on these EPC's.

I have an assessor i work closely with and i have asked him to program a full DG scenario on a flat i rent out. The difference is 2 points. So not worth the money or effort. I achieved a C rating by insulating the walls instead.

Your report from 2009 says you will go up 9 points. and you already have some DG. So it is not as if you are going from full single glazing to double.

So this is a mistake. I wonder if you are reading the report wrong as they list improvements in order of effectiveness and you might be looking at the cumulative improvement if all recommendations are followed, with the DG being the last improvement. Hence you see the new total rating, but it is a total of other improvements.

With regards to the wall insulation. You can get an insulation company out to give you a quote and they will drill the walls to check you are already insulated. I had this issue and I asked the guy to email me his findings plus i took some photos of his camera equipment which showed the insulation in place. This will be my evidence that the walls are insulated when i next need an EPC.

I repointed the house so the tell tale signs of injecting insulation had disappeared. Normally this is all an inspector needs to see to confirm it has been insulated. Does your house have these filled injection holes (usually in the mortar lines and lots of them).

DGM View Profile

19:19 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

I had an EPC done on a house built in 1986, full of insulation etc and additional in the loft. The old rating was C and I expected another C, it is now a D. This is due to me removing the old storage heater which was inefficient and didn't work and replacing with the latest efficient (Cat5) electric heater, the house is all electric and no gas available.
The assessor said if I left the old storage heater in it would be a C then replace it after he left. Seems ridiculous state of affairs, they complete a tick box on a laptop and that churns out the result.

East Midlands Energy Efficiency View Profile

20:07 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by DGM at 04/07/2022 - 19:19
The key point in your scenario is that domestic EPC ratings are based on the cost of energy not the amount actually used. Storage heaters take advantage of economy 7 type tariffs reducing the cost and hence improving the rating. The same effect is often seen when a tenant changes the electric meter to a single rate tariff thereby wiping out the benefit of having storage heaters and impacting the EPC rating.

There is also a lot of misinformation circulating about the efficiency of modern electric heating systems. Many might be easier to control or more effective at providing heat specifically when it is needed but still have the same efficiency as older units.

reader

20:32 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

When trying to obtain a higher EPC rating I always ask my assessor to conduct a what if exercise to determine the most cost effective measures to achieve my goal. His extra time and effort are invaluable.

John

21:32 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Doug Hough at 04/07/2022 - 20:07
The whole electric v gas issue is going to change.

Electric heating is going to be seen in better terms. As we increase our input from renewables into the electric grid this has to happen.

I have just decided to go with an all electric system on a flat i have fully renovated (am in the middle of it now).

The EPC rating is going to be a low D. It is a disgrace. If i put in E7 heaters i get a C.

However the E7 heaters are terrible and you have very little control over when the heat come into the building. So people end up running the back up fans on them in the eve. Why heat a building in the morning / daytime when you are usually at work. Then come home to find the temp is cooling to fast.

It needs a radical rethink and it is going to happen.

On this flat i have gone over and beyond on the insulation. 50mm kingspan on all internal walls.

I have broken out through the ceiling to reveal the full height of the roof (top floor flat). So have insulated with 150mm on the slopes and 175mm in the top flatter section (kingspan).

I have taped all the joints and really paid attention to small leaks.

So this flat should be very easy to keep warm and the heating bill should be lower.

Is any of this excess insulation recognised on the EPC ? Not a chance. The software can only recognise insulation in walls up to 150mm or 200mm of SOFT insualtion. I have put in the equivalent of 300 and 350mm soft insulation in my roof area. (you double the level when inputting the ridgid insulation apparently).

Paul landlord

0:12 AM, 5th July 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by robert fisher at 04/07/2022 - 17:15
On that one I'm afraid I have to take the view of 'I'll believe it when I see it'. None of my solid wall properties (of which I have a lot) with all those measures hit a C. They all end up falling shy with a D. And these are with different quality DEAs in two seperate counties of which I've had a good relationship with for many years.

I'd be cautious. You could be disappointed and I don't see you will have any recourse by saying 'well you said...'

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