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A New Methodology to Measure EPC Ratings – What is SAP 11?

A New Methodology to Measure EPC Ratings – What is SAP 11?
03 May 2022

The government’s current system for assessing the energy performance of UK homes is to be overhauled over the next three years.

In collaboration with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Building Research Establishment (BRE), will develop a new version of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). This system hasn’t been updated since 2012.

The new methodology, SAP 11, will be used to better measure and understand the energy performance of homes in the UK, creating an “accurate and up-to-date” Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) system.


What is SAP 11?


The government’s current system for assessing and comparing the energy rating of residential dwellings, SAP, is used to create the information on EPCs and to show compliance with the energy conservation requirements of Building Regulations in the UK.

SAP 11 will be a modernised version of this system, aiming to take new technologies into account in a more effective way. This includes heat pumps, renewables, storage technologies and smart control devices.

SAP 11 is expected to be ready for use as part of the Future Homes Standard – a set of measures to be introduced on new homes built from 2025, to ensure they are fitted with low-carbon forms of heating, in line with the UK’s wider net-zero drive.

BRE’s methodology development will be guided by organisations and individuals within its steering group, including Sustenic, Loughborough University, Kiwa, University of Strathclyde’s Energy Systems Research Unit, AECOM and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), as well as Chris Martin and John Tebbit, two leading individuals in field trial design and product performance, respectively.




Bolstering the Government’s Energy Strategy?


Published on 7 April 2022, the government’s “British energy security strategy” was criticised by BRE and others for not adequately addressing the issue of Britain’s ageing building stock.

The plan outlined the country’s response to global energy prices and a plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Gillian Charlesworth, CEO of BRE, commented at the time that retrofitting homes is a fast and cost-effective strategy to reduce demand for natural gas and will help to support the UK’s energy security:

“However, without a clear plan and funding to upgrade the UK’s building stock, our energy security strategy cannot be driven forward effectively – and we will quickly lose momentum on the drive to net-zero,” she said.

It is hoped that a more accurate and up-to-date EPC system that favours decarbonising technologies will help to reduce demand for natural gas and engage consumers in the wider drive to net-zero.


Wider EPC Changes in Commercial Property


Under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), first introduced in 2018, landlords cannot grant new leases or renewals of existing ones on commercial properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) below E.

By April 2023, MEES will apply to all privately rented property, making it an offence to continue to let a commercial space with an F or G EPC rating even in the middle of a lease term.

Picture: a photograph of a person holding up a tablet with an image of an EPC rating on the screen. Garden plans and an umbrella can be seen in the background. Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 03 May 2022


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