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EPC’s for Solar Panels

by reza@rayotec.com on April 25th, 2012

The UK government has recently introduced a new energy efficiency stipulation that states all UK households must have an energy performance certificate (EPC) of level D and above in order to receive the full FIT payment of 21p per kWh. So here at Rayotec we have put together some key information re. EPC’s should you be considering installing solar on your property.

What are Energy Performance Certificates?

Energy Performance Certificates are a rating that your home can receive for its energy efficiency. You will be given a current score and a potential score. These will range from 1 – 100, split across the following bands as in this example:

 

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) diagram

 

 

Overall, you will receive a grade between A and G, with A being the most efficient. The average grade received is roughly a grade D – an estimated 50% of properties are below it, with 50% being a D or above.

Why do I need an EPC for solar panels?

For new installations from April 1st, 2012, you will need to reach at least a grade D in order to receive the 21p per kWh rate for your solar panels. If your property does not get an EPC or is not at grade D, you will still receive a good rate of 9p per kWh. However the cost of getting an EPC done is very low (or FREE if you install solar with Rayotec) and getting to grade D can be relatively simple.

What sort of measures would a house need to get up to grade D on their EPC?

The vast majority of homes will reach grade D and therefore be able to get solar panels without having to do anything. For households that score below D, measures such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and energy efficiency light-bulbs will go a long way in helping bring that score up. Rayotec can help you do this, free of charge, if you decide to install your solar panels with us. If you decide to install solar panels with us and your property does not have an EPC, Rayotec will send an EPC assessor to your property to give you an initial grade. If you need to implement any energy efficiency improvements such as cavity wall or loft insulation, or energy saving light-bulbs, we will carry out this work free of charge. If your house will not get to the required grade D without significant further expense (ie a new boiler), we would then refund your deposit in full and the solar installation will not go ahead. It will then be up to you to install these measures yourself to get the higher Feed In Tariff rate, should you still want to get solar panels. Please note that solar panels can actually be used as an energy efficiency measure in order to increase your EPC score.

Why is this necessary?

The government argue that there is no point paying a home to be generating renewable energy in order to cut carbon emissions when that home then has poor insulation and wastes a lot of energy, a bit like how there’s no point buying icing until you have a cake.

However, in reality this is illogical. If a house is energy inefficient and doesn’t have solar panels, it will be buying more energy from the national grid and wasting it, harming the environment. At least if a house has solar panels installed, the energy it’s wasting if it’s inefficient is coming from a renewable source.

Critics say that the real reason for this EPC for solar panels being introduced is to discourage home-owners from installing solar panels to keep down the costs of the Feed In Tariff scheme, which has already caused significant issues for the Department of Energy and Climate Change because they underestimated its popularity. Well, Rayotec are here to say that installing solar power with us under the new energy efficiency stipulations, is just as easy and straight-forward as it once was.

For more information re. EPC’s and solar installations, please call our office on: 01932 784848 or visit our main website.

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