Energy Performance Certificate
Homeowners installing systems up to 4kWp in size must now ensure that the property has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least D to receive the higher Feed-in Tariff (FIT) rate of 14.38p.
If the property does not meet this criteria, there are low-cost ways to improve such as installing insulation. If upgrading the property does not help to meet the minimum EPC requirement, a FIT rate of 6.61p will be paid. Combined with electricity bill savings and the export tariff, the initial cost can still be recovered within the 20 year FIT period.
The minimum EPC requirement was implemented for all Solar installations completed from 1st April 2012, as part of the Government's changes to the Solar PV Feed in Tariff.
Your property may already have an EPC if it has recently been sold or rented out. There are two web sites you can search, depending where you live:
How many properties have an EPC rating of D?
The Department of Energy and Climate Change estimate that 50% of properties will currently meet the minimum EPC rating.
Systems installed on properties with an EPC rating of at least D will receive the higher Feed-in Tariff rate, currently 14.38p. This will give a Return on Investment of between 8% and 12% and will typically recover the cost of the system in under 10 years
To receive the higher FIT rate, an Energy Performance Certificate showing your property to have an EPC rating of at least D will need to be submitted alongside an MCS certificate from the Installer.
My property has an EPC rating less than D
If your property does not meet the minimum EPC requirement, there are low-cost ways to upgrade with the aim of obtaining an EPC rating of at least D and the higher FIT rate.
If your home is not adequately insulated, you may be able to achieve an EPC D rating by installing Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation. There are Grants currently available for Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation, which are available to all homeowners and private tenants that can cover up to 100% of the cost. Read More about how to claim an Insulation Grant.
Other low-cost upgrade measures to achieve the minimum EPC rating include low energy light bulbs and thermostatic heating controls.
Installing Solar Panels on a property will contribute towards the rating; however, whether it will help it achieve an EPC rating of at least D should be assessed before installation.
My property cannot achieve an EPC rating of D
If your property cannot achieve an EPC rating of at least D, even after upgrading, you will still receive a FIT rate of 6.61p per kWh of electricity generated.
A FIT rate of 6.61p per kWh combined with electricity bill savings and the export tariff means you can still recover the initial cost within the 20 year FIT period. Depending on the system price, it could still offer an attractive return. In comparison with previous Solar Panel Grants that covered around 30% of the cost, a FIT rate of 6.61p offers a far better return.
How can I get Solar Panels?
EnergyLink can arrange for you to receive up to three free no-obligation surveys and quotes from MCS accredited Installers in your local area. Our Installers can also assist with the EPC and the Feed in Tariff. Complete our short form to Get Three Quotes.