What Do SAP and RdSAP Mean?

Alongside instant warmth, the clever technology of Infrared heating can provide the user with many other benefits such as a better EPC rating. To understand how far infrared heating can help your EPC rating, let’s firstly break down what SAP and RdSAP mean.

What does SAP and RdSAP mean?

Put simply, SAP stands for ‘Standard Assessment Procedure’ and is the methodology that is used to calculate your EPC rating (Energy Performance Certificate). The SAP is essentially a very thorough list of calculations that judge the overall performance of your building. In turn, this is what produces the final EPC certification as part of the Building Regulations compliance.

The SAP is traditionally used to produce the EPC certificates for new build properties. The RdSAP – short for ‘Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure’ – on the other hand, is used to produce the certificates for homes that already exist. The guidelines on how the assessment takes place for the Standard Assessment Procedure are usually updated every four years, with the most recent update being on 24th July 2018. On this date, the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the technical authors of the Building Research Establishment (BRE) published the most current version of the SAP which is now known as “SAP 10”.

Whilst the RdSAP has its benefits, there is one major flaw in this assessment due it being a ‘’Reduced Data’’ assessment. If you are considering a renovation of your property and are wanting to obtain the certifications, we would suggest avoiding the RdSAP route. This type of assessment can contain many assumptions because they often assume that a lot of the new work such as insulation, windows, etc is the same as the original EPC certificate. So, rather than completing an entirely new assessment of the property using the usual SAP methodology – they often try and carry over as much as possible.

Even though the general SAP formula can prove difficult to find, it does have a lot more flexibility and data to choose from. This is especially beneficial when it comes to calculating your EPC rating. For example, with the RdSAP, infrared heating will fall under ‘’Electric Panel Heating’’ which is considered very inefficient. With the SAP that is used for new builds, you can instead disclose exactly how much power you are drawing using your electric heating.

How can I get a better EPC with FAR Infrared Heating?

If you find yourself thinking ‘’I’ve already renovated my property, but I’m now stuck with a super low EPC that I can’t change because it isn’t a new build’’, Fear not!

If you’ve changed your primary heating source and still have access to all the architect’s drawings, floor plans, elevations, and cross sections then you’re in luck. Thus, giving you a far more accurate EPC score.

Here is an example which we found online: After an RdSAP assessment on a newly renovated property, with IR heating, the owners were left with an E rating, which is close to being the worst possible rating. With a full SAP report, the rating was adjusted to a C as they were able to record the power rating of the heaters.

Once the C was approved, the property was flagged as it rated two whole grades above the original. After a full audit, they came back with 100% accuracy and secured the C rating.
It is worth mentioning that a full architects’ drawings and floor plans do come at a cost, and this is discretionary to the company that you use. Without this SAP report however, it may not even be possible to rent your property out in the first place. So, we fully believe that if you are trying to rent out your property, it will be worth every penny.

What else can I do to help my EPC rating?

While heating is one of the bigger factors which contributes to your EPC, there are a lot of other factors to consider. It can be easy to install a new FAR heating system and instantly think that your EPC is going to be boosted to an A. However, to have the best chance of getting a better score, you need to look at other aspects as well:

  • Double Glazing – Upgrading your window and door quality will help with your EPC rating as it is designed to retain heat as well as keep noise levels lower.
  • Loft insulation – Loft insulation is easy to install and cheaper than you’d think. It can also make a huge difference to your bills. We recommend ensuring it’s at least 270mm in thickness
  • Lighting – You can replace existing low energy lighting with LED lighting instead.
  • Cavity insulation – if your property has a cavity wall, ensure that it is insulated – this can make a huge difference.

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