The European Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) is a key part of strategies for tackling climate change. Nearly half of all carbon emissions in this country come from buildings. The principle underlying the Directive is to make energy efficiency transparent by the issuing of a certificate showing the energy rating of a property, accompanied by recommendations on how to improve efficiency. Article 7 of the EPBD concerning Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) will be fully implemented by the end of 2008. The EPC shows a record of the energy efficiency levels and CO2 emissions of a building, by using a graph from A to G (A being very efficient, G being very inefficient).
Under Article 7 of the Directive, any building which is sold, rented out or constructed must have an EPC. This must be issued by a qualified and accredited assessor in an independent manner.
Once produced an EPC is valid for ten years. The certificate is accompanied by recommendations about how to improve energy efficiency. These do not however have to be implemented. This part of the Directive has been implemented into law in England and Wales by the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (2007)