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Energy performance certificates now include the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN)

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and Display Energy Certificates (DEC) records for buildings in England and Wales are published quarterly via the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (the ‘department’). As part of the November 2021 publication, we have allocated UPRNs (Unique Property Reference Numbers) to the data. This should allow users to easily cross-reference between different data sets and aid in data linking. GeoPlace and Ordnance Survey set out a comprehensive background to the creation, governance and use of UPRNs on their websites.

How is the UPRN populated?

Since September 2020 an energy assessor submitting a record to the Energy Performance of Buildings register has been able to allocate a UPRN from Ordnance Survey AddressBase. Should the assessor be unable to find an appropriate address in AddressBase a UPRN cannot be allocated. As such UPRN assignment for new build dwellings, non-domestic EPCs and DECs are not as complete as existing dwellings. To supplement missing UPRNs the department has used an address matching algorithm to provide additional UPRN coverage for records dating back to 2008.

The address-matching algorithm uses a combination of rules-based and machine-learning approaches using data from AddressBase. In this way, we can map addresses to UPRNs with a high degree of reliability. Furthermore, we have validated the results of our algorithm using address matched EPC datasets produced by Ordnance Survey and GeoPlace, finding UPRNs matched in up to 99% of cases.

What's changing?

New fields are being included for EPC and DEC:

UPRN: The UPRN submitted by an assessor or alternatively from the department’s address matching algorithm

UPRN SOURCE: Populated with the values “Energy Assessor” or “Address Matched” to show how the UPRN was populated

A UPRN shall only be assigned using the address matching algorithm if: a) the assessor does not submit a UPRN and, b) the algorithm finds a reliable match.

Will you continue to address-match records?

Energy assessor UPRNs have been supplemented with Address Matched UPRNs as a one-time exercise for EPC and DEC records dating back to 2008 and we shall endeavour to release UPRNs as part of future publications.

Address matching of new records and existing records not yet assigned a UPRN will be performed as part of the regular data releases.

We shall only assign UPRNs from the address matching algorithm that pass our confidence score. This is something we shall routinely monitor to improve the quality and coverage of UPRNs allocated to records.

The address matching algorithm requires a contemporary version of AddressBase and as some EPC’s may be submitted on properties yet to be included in AddressBase we may not find a reliable match. For this reason, some dwellings such as new build properties may have UPRNs allocated in a later publication.

Can you guarantee UPRNs allocated to a record are correct?

Whilst we have confidence in the UPRNs we release, it’s possible errors might occur resulting in incorrectly assigned or missing UPRNs.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this blog, please feel free to contact us by emailing ODC@communities.gov.uk.