How Do You Pass a SAP Assessment?

If you’re building a new home, extension, or are converting a dwelling, you might have to think about SAP assessments during the planning phase. SAP assessments determine the energy efficiency of the dwelling and are used to inform the building’s eventual EPC rating. But do you know how to pass a SAP assessment, and what is considered? Find out in this article.

So, how do you pass a SAP Assessment? To pass a SAP assessment first time, start the process early and ensure to use low energy lighting and high-performance windows, install an efficient boiler, make sure the property is air-tight, and consider the use of heating controls. 

Read on for more tips on how to pass your SAP assessment with RS Energy, the SAP calculation & energy compliance experts.

How are SAP Ratings Calculated?

SAP ratings are based on the predicted energy costs and CO2 emissions, It is rated on a score of 1-100. In order to pass your SAP assessment, though, you’ll need to know at the early stages which energy systems you’ll be using, as different systems have significantly varying degrees of energy efficiency and, as such, are calculated differently. 

However, the factors that are typically considered during a SAP assessment include:

  • Type of lighting used
  • Type of energy used
  • If multiple types of energy are used
  • Type of windows used
  • Level of insulation
  • Air pressure
  • Thermal bridging
  • Heating controls
  • Waste water heat recovery systems
  • If renewable energy is used

10 Tips for How to Pass a SAP Assessment

Below you’ll find some of the best ways that you can improve your SAP score, whether you’re building a new property, converting, or extending a property.

1 Start Planning Early

It’s best to start planning early, as you’ll need to know which energy systems you’ll be using when your SAP assessment is conducted. It will also work out much cheaper to build the property in line with a good SAP score and building regulations, rather than having to make improvements later down the road.

2 Choose Low Energy Lighting

New build properties require 100% of fixed lighting to be low energy. This isn’t complicated, or expensive, and you can easily boost your SAP score by using low energy bulbs.

3 Insulate Well

A big reason for heat loss in properties is insufficient insulation and cold bridging. Make sure to properly insulate your property’s walls, ceiling, and floors to help boost the energy efficiency of your property, and boost your SAP score.

4 High-Performance Windows

Upgrading windows and doors to double glazing can improve both energy performance and can reduce noise pollution. This is a big factor when conducting a SAP assessment.

5 Secondary Heating Source

Use a secondary heating source such as a wood-burning fire to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency.

6 Air Pressure

The more airtight your property is, the more energy efficient it is and will help to boost your SAP score.

7 Thermal Bridging

As a minimum developers should follow the generic ACD guidance, this allows for an improved psi value to be used in the SAP calculation. However, using bespoke psi values for all, or some, junctions within the property can be a very cost effective way of improving thermal performance and will help achieve both a low air pressure test and a better SAP score.

8 Install an Efficient Boiler

It’s unlikely that a new build property will be built with an inefficient boiler, but if you’re trying to boost the SAP score of an existing property, extension, or conversion, consider installing a new, energy efficient boiler. This can make a huge difference to your energy bills and your SAP score.

9 Use Heating Controls

Make sure to comply with the minimum standard for heating controls to help boost your SAP Score, Minimum requirements include the use of a programmer, a thermostat, and thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs). It is also favourable for new builds and larger properties to have time and temperature zone controls.

10 Consider the Use of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy, such as solar panels, is not mandatory, and not using it will not have a negative impact on your SAP score, however, use of renewable energy in your property could help to both lower your energy bills and boost your SAP score significantly. 

What is a Good SAP Score?

A good SAP score is a high SAP score. Anything above 69 is considered good, whilst 92 and above is excellent. SAP scores inform the more widely known EPC rating. For example, a SAP score of 92 and above would equate to an EPC rating A – the best you can get. The table below should help you to better understand how SAP scores work.

SAP ScoreEPC Rating

Check out our recent blog, What is a Good SAP Rating, to learn more on this topic.

SAP Calculations for New Builds, Extensions, and Conversions

RS energy are SAP calculation and energy compliance experts. We provide SAP calculations for a wide range of clients on new build properties, conversions, and extensions. As accredited SAP assessors, we’re here to support you through the process of making your property more energy-efficient, both in the design and build phases. 

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our SAP calculation service.