EPCs were introduced in 2002 in the framework of the European legislation as an integral part of EPBD. The ultimate goal of EPCs is to create a demand-driven market for energy efficiency in the building sector. EPCs aim to serve as an information tool for building owners, occupiers and property actors when selling or renting out a building/unit. An EPC provides the energy performance of a building similar to the EU Energy Label, for example, for household appliances.
All member States have set up a system to collect EPC data voluntarily. These EPC registers are the primary source of information regarding energy-certified buildings, but the share of buildings registered in the EPC database varies across Europe. To ensure compliance with energy performance requirements, checks are conducted during the building process and fines are imposed for violations (e.g. Belgium). Sometimes, compliance to energy performance is checked when a dwelling, classified E, is rented out (e.g. United Kingdom). In Scotland, United Kingdom, private landlords are obliged to ensure they have at least “D class” energy rating when letting out apartments or they must ensure that properties are improved to meet the required energy standard before they are sold or rented out to new tenants. Scotland, has also published, in February 2021, its draft Heat in Buildings Strategy. The draft has further details of the forthcoming changes to EPCs, including potential reforms, and the regulatory framework for all housing tenures (https://www.gov.scot/publications/heat-buildings-strategy-achieving-net-zero-emissions-scotlands-buildings-consultation/).
For the social sector, Scotland has just come to the end of the first milestone of the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH1) and is now moving to the second milestone (EESSH2). The EESSH2 target is: “All social housing meets, or can be treated as meeting, EPC Band B (Energy Efficiency rating), or is as energy efficient as practically possible, by the end of December 2032 and within the limits of cost, technology and necessary consent. In addition, no social housing below EPC Band D should be re-let from December 2025, subject to temporary specified exemptions.”.
 United Kingdom, Gov.UK, “Guidance for landlords of domestic private rented property on how to comply with the 2018 ‘Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency’ standard (EPC band E)”, 4 May 2020. Available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance.
 For details on the funding of the social housing energy D standard, see https://www.gov.scot/policies/home-energy-and-fuel-poverty/energy-efficiency-in-social-housing/.
 Scotland, Heat in buildings strategy – net zero emissions: consultation (Edinburgh, Government of Scotland, 2021). Available at https://www.gov.scot/publications/heat-buildings-strategy-achieving-net-zero-emissions-scotlands-buildings-consultation/.
 European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy, Good Practice in Energy Efficiency (Luxembourg, Publications Office of the EU, 2017), p. 13. Available at https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/good_practice_in_ee_-web.pdf; For details on the funding of the social housing energy D standard, see https://www.gov.scot/policies/home-energy-and-fuel-poverty/energy-efficiency-in-social-housing/.https://ec.europa.eu/energy/eu-buildings-factsheets-topics-tree/energy-performance-certificates_en