What about the EPC requirement?
The feed-in tariff for solar PV installations is linked to the EPC rating of the building or buildings in which it is installed, or through which it is wired. Unless the installation is for a community building (e.g. a school or building belonging to a charity), the system owner has to prove that any building that is wired in such a way as to benefit from the electricity produced by the PV array has an EPC rating of D or above. If they do not prove this then they will not qualify for the full feed-in tariff rate and will be locked into a FIT rate of 6.61p/kWh for life.
Most properties will achieve a `D` rating or above on their own, new builds for obvious reasons will have no problem, older buildings if they have loft insulation, Double glazing or other improvements should sail through, but just adding Solar panels or Solar Thermal to the building will automatically raise the buildings energy efficiency. In some instances we can supply a hot water cylinder `Jacket` or LED bulbs for downlights to bump up the EPC rating.
Checking your EPC is easy – if you have bought or rented your property since October 2008 it will already have an EPC as this is required by law. It should be in the paperwork that came with the house. If not, speak to your estate agent.
If your EPC is already rated D or above, all you will need to do is provide a copy of the certificate when registering for the feed-in tariff, in most cases we will download a copy for you and include it as part of your application paperwork.
As mentioned above, If your EPC is rated E then this shouldn’t be a problem as the solar installation itself can contribute towards the EPC and will usually bring an E-rated property up to D.
If your EPC is rated F or below then all is not lost – Call us to find out if other energy efficiency measures we can help you undertake will bring your property up to standard. This may be as simple as bulbs as mentioned above or maybe some new loft insulation!
If you don’t have an EPC then the good news is that Solartherm Uk will include the EPC as part of our installation. We have our own in house DEA (Domestic Energy assessor) and we normally carry out this assessment at the time of survey.
What about outbuildings, barns, or garages?
The key wording in the government regulations is that if the solar PV system is wired “in order to provide power to a building that can have an EPC”, then this building needs to have an EPC. A “building” for this purpose is defined as a construction having a roof and walls that uses energy to control its internal climate. For example, this means that if an installation is going on an outbuilding that is unheated, but this outbuilding is wired to the same electricity meter as a house which is heated, this house will need to have an EPC rated D or above.