An EPC or Energy Performance Certificate gives a list of statistics showing how energy efficient a property is, rating it for energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. It shows how much energy the property uses, whether it’s energy efficient, and whether its owner would be eligible for certain benefits because their lifestyle is relatively ‘green’. It also gives the building a score to show how much carbon it generates. It then recommends ways to reduce the property’s energy use and save money. It’s similar to the EU energy labels you see nowadays on electrical appliances like fridges, freezers or washing machines.
Under current law, you can’t sell your home or let it unless you can provide your buyers or tenants with an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate.
This means that all homes that have been newly built, are on the market, or are available to rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate.
In Scotland, the building’s Energy Performance Certificate must be on view within the property – for example, next to one of the energy meters or by the boiler.
If you’re looking at properties to buy or rent, make sure you always ask to see their EPCs. Don’t accept any excuses – the vendor, landlord or agent must show you the property’s Energy Performance Certificate.
The certificate will show you how much it could cost you to heat and light the building. If you’re looking at several properties, you can use their certificates to compare their running costs and help you decide which one would be best for your needs and budget.
The Energy Performance Certificate gives two ratings: the first one shows how energy efficient the property is at the moment, and the second rating shows how much better it could be if you or the landlord made energy-saving improvements.
If you’re buying the property, these figures will help you work out how much you might have to spend on improving the building’s energy efficiency and installing more up-to-date heating, insulation and possibly solar panels.
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An Energy Performance Certificate is valid for 10 years. However, if you’ve made energy- saving improvements to your home during that time, and now you’re planning to sell or let it, it’s worth applying for a new assessment to improve your home’s rating.
On the certificate, you’ll see a range of grades from A to G.
A is dark green. An A rating of between 92 and 100 points means the property is extremely energy efficient and will have low running costs.
G is red. It represents a rating of 1 – 20 points and suggests that the property is not at all energy efficient, so its running costs will be high.
Most homes will fall somewhere in between (probably D, which has a value of 55 – 68 points), and only brand-new eco-homes are likely to achieve a dark green A rating.
The certificate shows the property’s current rating, and what its rating could be if various improvements were carried out.
The Energy Performance Certificate will also tell you:
Yes – the EPC gives you a record of your home’s current energy efficiency and carbon emissions. If you get it re-assessed after you’ve installed energy-saving measures, you’ll be able to see where and how much they’ve improved your property’s energy efficiency.
Yes – the estimates in your certificate will influence your eligibility for various support and payments, including your Feed-In Tariff payments.
No – there’s no obligation to carry out the changes suggested in the report. However, if you did make the improvements, you would probably improve your home’s energy rating – and reduce its running costs – This could make it more attractive to potential buyers.
When you’re selling in a very competitive market, anything that gives your home an edge over other properties could help you sell it faster or even achieve a better price. Energy prices are unlikely to go down, so lower running costs and more efficiency should be appealing to buyers.
Future governments may introduce tax benefits and allowances for homeowners who can show that their homes use less energy, so this might also make your home more attractive to far-sighted purchasers.
You need to get in touch with a qualified domestic-energy assessor who will come and check your property and issue its Energy Performance Certificate. If you’re using an estate agent or property management company, they may already have a domestic energy assessor who they can recommend. They may even have one on their staff.
If not, to find an assessor near you, visit:
The domestic-energy assessor will visit your property and:
They then use this data, and consult the building regulations at the date the property was built, to produce their report.
They won’t make any actual tests – for example, they won’t drill into your walls to confirm that you have cavity wall insulation. They’ll simply look for the drill holes or ask to see your certificate or guarantee for the work.
Most EPC surveys take between 30 and 45 minutes.
There is no set price for the assessment and certificate – it can cost anything from £60 up to £120. For example, a small studio flat would cost less than a six-bedroom detached house because the assessor won’t take as long to do the survey. However, even these prices can vary according to:
Any building that is newly built, or about to be sold or rented out, will need an EPC if it uses any kind of heating or air conditioning.
The legal definition is that it uses energy to ‘condition an indoor climate’ – in other words, to make an indoor area (somewhere with a roof and walls) warmer or cooler.
Energy Performance Certificates aren’t just essential for private homes. They apply to most buildings, so you will also need a commercial Energy Performance Certificate if you’re building, letting or selling business premises.
If you want to get the standard rate from the Feed-In Tariff, you’ll need to get an EPC and have a rating of between D and A.
If your home has a rating between E and G, you’ll get a lower rate tariff.
Your tariff is calculated on your home’s rating when you first apply, and it won’t make any difference if you make improvements and get a better EPC rating later on. So it makes sense to get an Energy Performance Certificate, carry out the suggested improvements and get a second assessment before you apply for your Feed-In Tariff.
Yes – your EPC will show how you could improve your home’s energy efficiency and what the Green Deal could help to pay for.
There are a few, such as:
Visit this page for a complete list.
Yes – it’s an excellent way to check up on your home’s energy efficiency and find out how you could improve it. You can then carry out the suggestions to make your home cosier to live in and cheaper to run.
If you insulate your roof and walls, improve your heating system and are generally quite careful, you can save around £300 a year. You’ll also cut your home’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by around 1.5 tonnes – so you’re helping the planet, too.
See our full energy saving guide for more details.
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