Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which is the right renewable energy source for me?

It may depend on how you use your house eg solar hot water heating panels are good only if you can use the hot water. A wind turbine may be too noisy or visually unacceptable in your circumstances. We can “try out” options for you and show you the expected effect.


Q. How much insulation should I have in my walls and floors and ceilings?

You are trying to balance the heat requirement for your house with the heat loss from the house to meet the target generated by the sap software for your own design.

You are normally looking at 100-150mm in the floors, 100-150mm in the walls and 300-400mm in the ceilings but this varies with the design of the house. When the “house” is entered into the software we can show you the effects of varying the amount and type of insulation in each area.


Q. Do I need triple glazing to meet current regulations?

It is worth checking the u value of the windows (including the frames). This is a measure of the heat loss through the windows. Double glazing has developed at an extraordinary rate recently and different coatings have affected the u values significantly with modern double glazing outperforming older triple glazing. The regulations don’t specify the type of glazing – just the worst u value allowed.


Q. Do I need building approval for insulating my roof space and walls or replacing windows?



Q. Must I have a condensing boiler?

The regulations only specify the efficiency of the heating system, so it does not have to be a condensing system but this has a very large effect on the sap calculation. It is a good option to enhance the energy performance of your home.


Q. Is a wood-burning stove better than an open fire?

Yes it is more efficient than an open fire so this helps your energy efficiency.


Q. Do I need an EPC for a commercial building?

If it is newly built; or being let or sold then it needs an epc or you will be liable to a fine.


Q. Do I need to have renewables in my new house?

This depends on the balance that you have between the energy you need to heat your house and how much you lose through the fabric (Walls floors ceilings etc). If your actual carbon emissions are more than the target emissions for your house you need to find some way to balance it up and renewables may be one way to do this.


Q. Who needs an EPC?

Every previously lived in house on the open market will require an EPC after 30th June, 2008 (New builds are assessed at the design stage).


Q. Who is responsible to get the EPC?

The homeowner is responsible to ensure that an EPC is available; Estate Agents are encouraged to ensure that all properties on their books comply but all Solicitors will insist on a valid EPC being available prior to the completion on a property sale.


Q. How long is it valid for?

Currently it will remain valid for 10 years.


Q.When do I need to get one?

The legal requirement is that if a property is placed on the market the first potential buyer should be in a position to see an EPC certificate as soon as they are introduced to the property.


Q. How long will it take to get?

The initial inspection of you home should take somewhere in the region of 1 hour and your EPC should be available in a day.


Q. How much will it cost?

A typical property will cost around £60 but this may vary due to size and complexity of the building. EBSNI are committed to providing value for money whilst maintaining a high level of service.


Q.What if my home gets a bad rating?

If we access your home it will get a rating and a list of suggested actions which will improve your energy rating. If you decide to implement some or any of those actions and it is likely to alter the band which your property falls into, we will carry out a repeat assessment at half price.


Q. Why use EBSNI?

All our assessors are employed directly by EBSNI we do not encourage the use of sub-contractors or franchises. This way we can guarantee a superior level of service than our competitors might promise.

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