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In the UK it’s mandatory to have a current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), whether you’re selling or letting your property. They offer a valuable insight into a property’s energy efficiency, and its comparable Energy Rating. Also, it’s indicative heating costs, and suggest current energy saving improvements that can be made.

 
The Energy Assessment itself involves evaluating the energy efficiency of various elements of a property, such as walls, Roof, Floor, Heating type etc. and depending on the size, and complexity of the property usually takes between half an hour, to an hour.
 
So, whether you’re moving house, or are a landlord about to re-let your property, and find that your current EPC has expired, or that the property doesn’t have one at all, then you’ll need to get one.

What is an EPC?

Energy Performance Certificates are a mandatory part of Residential Sales, Residential Rentals, Commercial Sales & Commercial Rentals. A buildings energy efficiency is rated on an Energy Rating Scale of A-G, similar to how kitchen goods are classified. ‘A’ being the most efficient and ‘G’ being the least efficient.

 
The higher the rating the more energy efficient the building is, with the most efficient buildings having the lowest fuel bills. An example of a typical energy Performance Certificate is shown below.
 
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) in Shropshire from just £40The chart shown on the right has a current energy rating of ‘E’ and a potential energy rating of ‘C’ if energy saving recommendations are carried out. A list of energy saving recommendations are detailed on the certificate. The certificate also gives the Carbon Dioxide Impact Rating of the dwelling. Again the higher the rating the less impact the building will have an the environment.
 
They are commissioned by the seller or their agent to an accredited Energy Assessor (DEA) who visits the property to collect the relevant data (e.g. boiler type, property dimensions etc.) and creates the report.

The End Result…

Is an Energy Performance Certificate that tells the householder how energy efficient their home is on a scale of A – G, similar to how white kitchen goods are classified. The higher the rating the more energy efficient the property is. The most efficient homes will have the lowest fuel bills.

 

The Certificate also tells you the impact the home has on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. The higher the rating the less impact it has on the environment. Each rating is based on the performance of the building itself and its heating and lighting services, rather than the domestic appliances within it.

 
The certificate also takes into account the age, location, size and condition of the building when providing a rating and suggesting improvements. The average property in the UK falls in band E and as heating and hot water account for more than 75% of energy used in a typical house EPC’s will help householders work out how to reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions.

 

The certificate also includes potential recommendations to enhance the efficiency of the property and so reduce the fuel cost to the householder, such as increase the loft insulation.


Do I already have an Energy Performance Certificate?

In some cases, you may not be aware of whether your property has an in-date EPC or not? If you don’t know, I can check the register, and provide you with a copy if there is one, for a nominal fee of just £20.

When you’ll be given an EPC

By law you should receive an EPC in the following cases:

  • Buying a home – All sellers of homes need to ensure that they provide an EPC, free of charge to potential buyers.
  • Buying a newly built property – Buyers of newly built properties should receive an EPC, free of charge.
  • Renting a property – If you are interested in renting a property, the landlord must make an EPC available to you free of charge. However, you don’t need an EPC when you are thinking of just renting a room with shared facilities rather than renting the whole property.

How long is your EPC valid for?

EPC’s are valid for ten years, so the 1st EPC’s to be issued will expire in July, 2017.


What happens if you are not given an EPC? 

If you are not given an EPC when you are entitled to it, you should contact the trading standards department of your local council. Trading standards officers have the power to issue a fixed penalty notice of £200 for domestic properties where an EPC is not provided. If you are buying a newly built home and an EPC hasn’t been provided, you should contact the building control department of your local council.