Any way of getting a 2nd opinion on a EPC?

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    Any way of getting a 2nd opinion on a EPC?

    I’ve had an EPC done recently which came back with results that didn’t seem to make much sense to me. It’s a 1970s terraced house with double glazing, cavity wall insulation, 30cm of loft insulation and electric storage heaters for the heating. The overall rating was an ‘F’ (for comparison I have a 3 bed 1880s Victorian terrace house with single glazing, no cavity insulation, 30cm of loft insulation, gas central heating and an EPC rating of ‘D’)

    I managed to have a civilised conversation with the guy who did the work, but that brought up a few interesting points.

    The EPC assessor seems to work on worst case scenario. He decided I only have 20cm of loft insulation because he could only see 20cm on top of the loft boards (there’s another 15cm under them) – he made the fair comment ‘we can only go with what we can see’ He refused to return to the house, or go into the attic. (he’s not allowed in the attic without protective gear!). Apparently the rules state that he will go no further than poking his head through the hatch and shining a torch about.

    The double glazing is just normal white UPV. Clean, working and with good seal, but according to the assessor ‘it looks very old’ and it’s ‘probably not up to modern standards’. I asked him what standards it should meet, and how he could tell the age of the windows – at that point he just mumbled a bit about how an experienced eye could judge these things based on how long he’d been doing the job.

    Next he decided that there’s no wall insulation. I know there is because when the government was subsidising it a few years ago an installer came round, drilled a hole in the wall and told me it was already installed and I couldn’t have it done twice, he then pointed out something I’d missed before – small holes in the brickwork filled up with cement where the foam was squirted in. My EPC assessor decided I couldn’t have cavity wall insulation because it wasn’t available in the 70s (true) and I didn’t provide him with an proof of installation (also true). I asked him to come back and drill a hole and inspect for himself, but I was told ‘we only do non-invasive inspections’.

    He a mentioned that the best improvement would be through stripping out the storage heaters and replacing with gas central heating (unfortunately there’s no mains gas at the house) – which seems to be at odds with the governments Climate Change plans to move away from fossil fuels!

    His final shot was to cheerfully state there’s no appeals process, he said I could get another EPC assessor in but stated “we all work on the same rules – he’ll tell you the same thing”.

    So what should I do? Is there an appeals process? If he’s right and they all work to the same rules then how can I prove I have cavity wall insulation if they won’t drill a hole? How can I prove I have 30cm of loft insulation if they only go as far as sticking there head through the attic hatch?


    #2
    The loft insulation is probably crucial, get down to B&Q and get as much as you can stuff round the loft hatch, get some t-cut and clean up the double glazing, find a receipt for cavity wall insulation, put led's in every light fitting and get another assessor in, he sounds like a tosser

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      #3
      Someone else suggested as follows:

      Have a look at the EPC's of your neighbours' houses that are similar. Find the one with the most generous rating, and call that inspector round to do yours.

      Comment


        #4
        I purchased a property about 4 years ago. It had a 57 D rating. Only half of the rooms had radiators, on a single pipe system, and an old boiler, otherwise gas fire only in the living room and portable heaters in the master bedroom and 2nd living room. Light fittings were old and floor coverings were 2 or 3 layers of lino. Recommendations of the EPC were minimal - floor insulation, draught proofing and low energy lighting, predicted increase to 84 B.
        I renovated the house fully, had new new central heating installed, radiators in all rooms, gas condensing boiler, carpets with good underlay, LED lighting throughout. It already has double glazing, thick loft insulation, cavity wall insulation. The new rating is 66 D, so really not much change. Only recommendations are insulation under the suspended wooden floors in two living rooms (these are carpeted), solar photovoltaic panels and solar water heating. Costs for all three of those far outweigh any energy savings and that would take rating up to a C apparently.
        There is evidently a lack of consistency between assessors. Perhaps find out who work for estate agents.
        I would not have put cavity wall insulation in my house if it had not had it, that can cause more problems such as penetrating damp, so I think an empty cavity shouldn't effect ratings as they provide insulation as they are.

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          #5
          Ah, one of the mysteries of the universe, why EPCs are b*ll*cks...

          I had two houses done, v v similar layout, construction, improvements (old social housing estate 1960s..). Scotland as it happened, both done twice, different companies, as initial results were... err... disappointing.

          ABSOLUTELY no changes to the properties in between.

          Property A 1st done 13/09/19: F/35, potential B/81
          2nd done 08/01/20: E/52, potential B/85

          Property B 1st done 13/09/19: F/33, potential D/62
          2nd done 15/11/19: E/50, potential B/87

          No, no idea.

          I didn't chose to query the original assessments or bills as I really didn't want the better ones questioned by the authorities...

          My own view is the companies and the individual assessors in the main don't know what they are doing, and clearly those clowns in government haven't a clue... - about anything, including EPCs..
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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            #6
            “we all work on the same rules – he’ll tell you the same thing”.
            A quick look at the register shows that to be incorrect. I'd do the following;

            Originally posted by JK0 View Post

            Have a look at the EPC's of your neighbours' houses that are similar. Find the one with the most generous rating, and call that inspector round to do yours.
            I'd use the 'opt out' facility for the useless EPC on the register before instructing a new inspector and then follow him/her round with the evidence of insulation etc.

            Comment


              #7
              there's no question in my experience that some EPC assessors are harder markers than others. even more so with commercial epcs

              Comment


                #8
                The windows are assessed by the date of fitment of the majority, if you open a window and look at the frame exterior it will be stamped, also if you look closely on the seal between the glass it will be generally black or silver it will be dated when they were made (they will be faded so look closely), they are looking for earlier or later than 2004 as the standards changed. You can also look your house up on fensa site and order a replacement certificate as proof the https://www.fensa.org.uk/fensa-certificate

                On the loft insulation it will be only what they can see, who can tell if you have skimped under the loft boards, it's so cheap it's not worth the argument just stack loads on top.

                In terms of cavity wall, you can check with building control for your house at the council, a lot of the time the certificate is registered with them.

                I've used an assessor that could not understand how I could tell a house was solid brick just by the brick bond when he argued it had a cavity at that point I gave up trying to discuss anything further.

                All the best

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