As of April 1, 2012 all new solar PV systems wishing to receive the full feed-in tariff rate available will have to be accompanied with a valid EPC level D. Following mounting confusion, DECC has confirmed that a solar installation will contribute to bringing the property up to EPC level D.

A DECC spokeswoman told SPP: “A generator must be able to demonstrate as part of their application for FiTs that the building to which the solar PV installation is attached or wired to provide electricity is rated at EPC level D or above. The FiTs requirement doesn’t prescribe how level D should be met.”

DECC clarified that people who want to use solar PV towards obtaining an EPC rating of D would need to “have the solar panel system installed, conduct an EPC and then apply for the FiTs scheme. The EPC must be sent with the documentation relating to registration for FiTs.”

The EPC requirement will apply to any heated or cooled building connected to a solar PV installation, whether residential, commercial or otherwise. That would mean that even if PV is mounted on an unheated barn or shed, the property receiving the electricity would have to hold a level D EPC certificate.

As for ground mounted arrays, if the array feeds into a building for consumption then the property consuming the energy must hold a level D EPC to qualify for the higher tariff.

It is also worth noting that any system over 250kW will not require an EPC certificate, as the consultation only covered systems less than or equal to 250kW.

To help customers meet the increased cost of reaching EPC level D, some financial support may be available from the Carbon Emissions Reductions Target (CERT) scheme and, from autumn 2012, measures will be largely financeable through the Green Deal.