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The crossCert Journey

Understanding Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs): A Crucial Tool for Awareness and Improvement

In today's world, where sustainability and energy efficiency are becoming increasingly crucial, the significance of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) cannot be overstated. EPCs serve as a vital tool for understanding and improving energy efficiency in buildings, playing a pivotal role in raising awareness and facilitating structured discussions on the topic.

What exactly are Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)? Essentially, an EPC provides a rating for a building's energy efficiency, ranging from A (very efficient) to G (least efficient). It outlines the current energy efficiency of a property and provides recommendations for improving it. But beyond this basic definition lies a wealth of benefits and implications that affect various stakeholders.

Understanding EPCs: Making Complexity Simple

Despite the complexity of energy efficiency assessments, EPCs provide a way for individuals, regardless of their background knowledge, to grasp the energy efficiency of a building. Whether you're a homeowner, a prospective buyer, or a real estate professional, EPCs offer an understanding of a property's energy performance and the potential for improvement. If they are designed well, they also provide valuable data and information for local, regional and national authorities they on the energy consumption and thus the CO2 emmission of the building, making it easy for them to design and implement policies and tools to support climate-friendly solutions in their jurisdiction. Policy makers will have the right data basis on the building stock and be able to create support and funding to renovate inefficient buildings or support climate friendly new buildings, thus also supporting citizens to reach climate neutrality.

By demystifying energy efficiency through a standardized rating system, EPCs empower individuals to make informed decisions regarding energy consumption and environmental impact. This accessibility fosters awareness and encourages discussions on sustainable practices in the built environment.

Planning for Improvement: Empowering Stakeholders

EPCs not only raise awareness but also serve as a catalyst for targeted actions and improvements. Stakeholders, including policymakers, assessors, and training providers, can leverage EPCs to identify key areas for enhancement within the energy efficiency ecosystem.

For policymakers, EPCs provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of existing regulations and policies aimed at improving energy efficiency in buildings. By analyzing EPC data, policymakers can pinpoint areas of weakness and devise strategies to strengthen energy efficiency standards.

Similarly, training providers and assessors can use EPCs to enhance the quality of their services. By identifying common issues or gaps in energy performance, they can tailor training programs and assessment methodologies to address specific challenges effectively. This proactive approach ensures that professionals involved in the EPC delivery network are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to optimize energy efficiency in buildings.

EPCs may also facilitate the development of targeted promotion strategies aimed at encouraging the adoption of energy-efficient practices. By highlighting the benefits of improving energy performance, stakeholders can incentivize property owners to invest in energy-saving measures, thereby driving widespread adoption of sustainable building practices.

Towards a Sustainable Future

In an era defined by climate change and environmental concerns, the role of EPCs in promoting energy efficiency has never been more critical. By providing a simple yet effective tool for understanding and improving energy performance, EPCs empower individuals and organizations to take meaningful action towards a sustainable future.

As we continue to prioritize sustainability and resilience in the built environment, it is essential to recognize the value of EPCs as a catalyst for change. By raising awareness, facilitating discussions, and driving targeted improvements, EPCs pave the way for a more energy-efficient and environmentally conscious society.

To support th EPC journey, crossCert creates several infographics to highlight the how Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) serve as a cornerstone of energy efficiency initiatives, offering both simplicity and depth in understanding and improving the energy performance of buildings. By leveraging the insights provided by EPCs, stakeholders can work collaboratively towards a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.

The crossCert Outcomes

A benchmark repository

This repository will contain curated building data, certificate results and, where available, measured performance results of buildings. The repository will be publicly available for third parties (public authority, EPCs issuers, etc.) to assess the performance of the new EPC procedures. This tool will help reduce the performance gap by facilitating the evaluation of the EPC performance.

Technical guidelines for the next generation of EPCs

Based on the testing and assessment of the current and new EPC approaches, these guidelines will contain recommendations to reduce the performance gap, to implement the new KPIs (smart readiness of buildings, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, noise) in the EPCs, to present the renovation measures to the building owner and to verify and control the EPC quality.

Guidelines and tools for the exploitation of EPC data

Based on the testing and assessment of the current and new EPC approaches, these guidelines will contain recommendations to create databases for the exploitation of EPC’s data, to link with new EPC’s with concepts such as energy audits and renovation roadmaps and to elaborate tools to improve the value (information) that EPCs deliver to end-users and to market agents.

A set of guidelines for the design of people-centred EPCs

These guidelines will embody the results of the research carried out in crossCert to enhance the EPCs design for a better user experience, to improve the training and education of certified EPC issuers and to promote and market the new EPCs.

Recommendations for the harmonisation of next generation EPCs

Based on the testing and assessment of the current and new EPC approaches, recommendations for the EPC harmonisation will be elaborated considering the several EPC dimensions: technical performance, data exploitation and human factor.

An EPC knowledge exchange centre

crossCert will create a web-based repository of information on EPC approaches. This information will contain a description of the new EPC schemes and the results of the assessment carried out in crossCert: requirements (software, training of issuers, etc.), performance gap, userfriendliness, exploitation of data, advantages and drawbacks. This web-based repository will be openly available and will provide curated quality information for public authorities to configure the new EPC schemes in their regions/countries.

An EPC community forum

The harmonisation of the next-generation of EPCs will require knowledge sharing and a wide dissemination of the new methodologies. The establishment of a network for all relevant actors involved in the implementation of the new EPCs (EPCs designers, experts in building energy modeling, public authorities, EPCs issuers, construction sector stakeholders, such as architects and ESCOs, investors and end-users) will help achieve a successful implementation of the next-generation of EPCs.