Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)

The EPC carried out on domestic and commercial buildings is not done subjectively at all. In fact, there is a thorough procedure for assessing and evaluating the energy efficiency of buildings and properties. This procedure is known as the SAP – short for Standard Assessment Procedure.

Overview of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) uses a detailed methodology to assess the energy performance of dwellings. This procedure ensures that the assessment carried out is objective, accurate and truly reflective of the energy efficiency of any property. A SAP calculation is required by all domestic properties in the UK to demonstrate compliance with standard energy performance requirements.

Purpose of SAP

The findings from SAP underpin many Government Environmental and Energy policy initiatives. Once of these is the EPC, which is a mandated document to be produced under the UK governments Green Deal (GD) to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. Besides that, it is also used for local authorities stock reporting, assessing compliance of buildings under the buildings regulations and assessing the Stamp Duty exemption for zero-carbon homes, to name a few.

How does SAP work?

There are two main areas that SAP will focus on as part of the energy assessment of a building: 1) the energy consumption of the property; and 2) the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. With these, an energy efficiency rating will be produced. The assessment carried out will be based on the occupancy level of a dwelling, and the comfort level of occupants for the provision of basic and necessary services is always kept in mind.

The following performance indicators are inspected in depth during a SAP assessment:

  • Energy use per unit floor area
  • Levels of CO2 emissions
  • Estimate of appliance energy use
  • Heating potential and cooling load during summers
  • Fuel-cost based energy efficiency

The energy demand of a property is carried out on a monthly basis so as to assess the energy use more accurately across all seasons throughout the year. A high level of accuracy and reliability is a must as far as the findings of the SAP assessment are concerned, and property owners and occupants are expected to cooperate fully for that.

When should a SAP assessment be carried out?

The sooner the better is the rule for assessing the energy efficiency of buildings with the help of SAP. This not only saves procedural time in submitting the SAP documents to the relevant bodies, but also helps analyze the efficiency of buildings earlier on, which is especially useful for under construction buildings. Thus a cost effective solution for meeting compliance standards can be thought of sooner rather than later.

With SAP, it is anticipated that the energy assessment of dwellings will be accurate, reliable and advantageous in terms of improving the energy efficiency within the UK at a larger scale.

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