Guidance

Energy Performance of Buildings Certificates: notes and definitions

Information on how statistics on energy performance of buildings are compiled.

This guidance is to be read in conjunction with the experimental official statistics series on Energy Performance of Buildings Certificates, which includes the latest statistical releases and sets of tables.

About the Energy Performance of Buildings Certificates

Almost 40% of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions come from the way our buildings are lit, heated and used. Even comparatively small changes in energy performance and the way we use each building will have a significant effect in reducing total energy consumption.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is responsible for the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPB Directive). Transposed into regulations in 2007, the EPB Directive requires that:

  • properties (homes and commercial) must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when constructed, sold or let
  • larger buildings occupied by a public authority where the building is frequently visited by the public must display an energy certificate; in England and Wales this is a Display Energy Certificate (DEC)
  • all air-conditioning systems over 12kW must be regularly inspected by an energy assessor and given an Air-Conditioning Inspections Report (ACIR)

The principle underlying the Directive is to make energy efficiency of buildings transparent through the provision of a certificate showing the energy rating of a building and recommendations on how to improve its efficiency.

For an EPC, DEC or ACIR to be valid, it must be lodged by an accredited energy assessor on 1 of the 2 Energy Performance of Buildings Registers (EPB Register):

The EPB Register for England and Wales are operated on DCLG’s behalf by Landmark Information Group. Scotland and Northern Ireland hold separate Registers.

As of April 2014, the England and Wales Registers contained data related to over 11 million certificates. This volume of data, which increases daily, equates to approximately 3 billion individual data items. The statistics produced for this release reflect the data lodged for valid certificates at time of publication.

Regulatory and administrative history and context

Data from EPCs and DECs are collected under the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (England and Wales) 2012 and subsequent amendments. This was first introduced in 2007 as a requirement of the original EPB Directive - an EU measure designed to tackle climate change by reducing the amount of carbon produced by buildings.

Accredited energy assessors carry out energy assessments on buildings and produce an EPC, DEC or ACIR and recommendation report. A copy of the energy certificate must be provided to the person who commissioned it.

Several regulatory and administrative amendments have been made since the implementation of the 2007 regulations, which have altered the content, format and accessibility of data lodged on to the EPB Registers. The relevant changes are listed below in chronological order. Users are encouraged to refer to these when interpreting the statistics.

Amendments made since the 2007 regulations

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Technical guidance notes

For full details on how the requirements of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive are applied to domestic dwellings, non-dwellings and public buildings, users should consult the Energy Performance Certificates guidance collection.

For the purposes of reading the statistics, the following explanations are provided to support users’ interpretation.

Technical guidance notes

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Data quality

This is a new experimental official statistics series drawn from data held on the Energy Performance of Buildings Register for England and Wales.

Experimental official statistics are by definition still subject to evaluation and testing, and therefore may not meet the same rigorous quality standards as official statistics more generally. In spite of quality variances, we are publishing these figures because we believe them to be of immediate value and we welcome interested parties to become involved in their development.

Energy assessor accreditation schemes originally had the choice of lodging the underlying data used to produce domestic EPCs, in addition to the actual PDF document itself. After September 2008, lodging the data became a mandatory requirement. Due to the technical difficulty involved in formatting PDFs into searchable data, the statistics do not include data lodged as a PDF document only.

In May 2009, additional validation checks were introduced into the register lodgement process to identify prescribed data quality issues. Before this period, statistics for domestic buildings may include anomalies to CO2 emission rates. In addition, statistics for domestic and non-domestic buildings and for DECs may include anomalies which affect total floor area figures.

On 1 April 2012, the first set of Scheme Operating Requirements came into effect for Domestic Energy Assessors, which set new rules for the operation of Accreditation Schemes. One new requirement was to introduce quality assurance audit of EPCs. The result was a demonstrable improvement in the quality of data lodged on the EPB Registers from mid-2012 onwards. Users are asked to consider this when interpreting figures prior to that period.

The Department for Communities and Local Government and Landmark Information Group cannot alter data which has been lodged on the EPB Registers.

Historic series and archive publications

Between 2010 and 2013, official statistics on the average energy efficiency of new homes in England and Wales were released quarterly as a sub-section of DCLG’s Code for Sustainable Homes statistics series.

These statistics were drawn from EPC certificates for new domestic buildings, held on the Energy Performance of Buildings Register. Please refer to this series for earlier tables and reports.

Glossary

A consolidated glossary of all the terms used in the EPB reports.

Glossary

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Contact

Published 30 April 2014