Anyone who’s either renting out, building or selling a property needs an energy efficiency certificate for that particular property. An energy efficiency certificate not only gives you information about how energy efficient your home is, it also contains recommendations for enhancing its rating. For landlords and tenants alike, this certificate and its findings can have huge implications for the value of your home.
Of course, when you’re buying a house or renting one there’s also a chance that the potential buyers will want to know about any potential energy efficiency issues. So you need to make sure that both prospective tenants and the people who inspect your property have the correct knowledge and expertise to deal with the issue. In some cases an assessor may be able to advise you as to whether you should consider getting a domestic energy performance certificate. Here are some of the things he might recommend:
* If your property has been refurbished since the last review (which involves contacting every individual part of the refurbishment process and asking them about their experiences), then you’ll probably find that the certificate is old. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though – if you get a domestic energy performance certificate that’s a few years old you can still consider improving it. You could ask your assessor to check that the certificate is up-to-date on the domestic side, such as with the inclusion of a new domestic water heaters installation, for example.
* If you’re planning to buy a domestic property then your assessor will have a completely different opinion to you on the matter. He may suggest that you upgrade the domestic energy efficiency rating. To do this, you would need to request an item inspection from him. Items that might be reviewed include items such as the duct work and air conditioning systems, as well as the boiler. The rating will obviously be different for different items. If the property you’re thinking about buying has a poor rating then you should think about getting a different home.
* If you need both domestic and non-domestic energy performance certificates, you could be in for some problems. First, you’ll probably need to get both in order to qualify for a carbon-neutral discount – which means that you’ll have to make a large initial payment to the Home Energy Assessment Scheme. It is perfectly acceptable to pay for one type of certificate, while getting the second. However, there is a legal requirement to get both domestic and non-domestic energy performance certificates, even if you only intend to buy one. This means that you won’t be able to claim the carbon reduction on the tax return.
* There are two different rating systems that the UK government uses for different buildings. You’ll need to give the relevant person a HETR rating, which will be used to calculate your tax and NHER rating. This can work out as an overall cost to run the building, although you might only be asked to pay a percentage of your heating bills. The majority of people don’t have to worry about this rating at all.
* For properties that are not rented, it’s a legal requirement for them to be warm in winter, and cool in summer. You must therefore calculate how many hours of heat the building can get every day and compare this with how many hours it can get of cooling air. In order to get a true measure of how efficient a property is for domestic use, you need to get the equivalent of two hours of heat per day and two hours of cooling air per day. However, when you’re getting these figures, it’s important not to compare the annual figure with those of a year ago, as you do tend to get a relatively small increase in efficiency from year to year.
Getting a domestic HETR certificate is the only way to show potential buyers that your property meets these stringent standards. However, in order for you to achieve this, there are a number of things that you need to take care of. Firstly, you need to get a certificate from a reputable energy assessor who will provide a report with supporting evidence. Your report should also include a detailed description of the property’s energy use, as well as a comparison with other properties in your local area. It should also contain a recommendation report, which details any improvements that you have made to improve your building’s efficiency.