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What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

By Fraser Gregory  //  Tue 3rd March 2020
What is an EPC certificate? Energy Performance Certificates Explained - Plaza Estates
Do I need an EPC when buying or renting a property?
With global warming rarely out of the news, reducing home energy use is an important step to cutting your carbon footprint.

But taking measures to make your property more energy efficient aren’t just about kindness to the planet. If you are selling or renting out your home, it is a legal requirement that it reaches minimum energy efficiency standards.

Knowing that you are staying within the law all comes down to one document - your energy performance certificate (EPC). But what exactly is an EPC? We answer the questions we are most often asked about this part of selling and renting out homes.

What is an energy performance certificate (EPC)?

EPCs measure how energy efficient your home is and are an essential part of marketing your property for sale or rent. Each EPC is valid for 10 years, however, you can have your property reassessed at any time.

EPC home reports contain:

  • Information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs
  • Recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.

What are the energy efficiency ratings?

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). A good EPC rating can be a powerful marketing tool, when selling or renting out a home, as it’s a good indication that the property will be warm and efficient to heat with lower energy bills.

Who needs to get an EPC?

If you’re selling or renting out your home, you need to provide your prospective buyers or tenants with an EPC. You should give a copy to your estate agent.

Do I need an EPC when buying or renting a property?

No, it is the responsibility of the seller or landlord to organise and pay for the EPC - you should never be asked for money for an assessment to be carried out if you are a buyer or tenant.

What are the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) legislation?

For landlords, since 2018 it has been a legal requirement that domestic properties meet the minimum energy efficiency standard of an EPC E rating before they can be rented out. This currently applies to new tenancies, but from April 2020 it will apply to existing ones too.

Who can carry out an EPC?

A qualified and accredited domestic energy assessor will carry out the inspection and issue you with your EPC.

Your estate agent or letting agent may suggest an assessor who can complete the inspection for you, or check the EPC register for accredited assessors in your area.

How long does an EPC survey take?

The EPC inspection takes less than an hour and includes an internal and external assessment.

What is involved?

Domestic energy assessors will inspect or measure the property’s:

  • Exterior walls
  • Roof insulation
  • Floor
  • Windows
  • Open fireplaces
  • Boiler
  • Lighting
  • Heating system
  • Heating controls
  • Hot water cylinder insulation
  • Ventilation system
  • Conservatory and extension.

How do I get a copy of an EPC?

Your assessor will give you a copy of their report, once completed. You can look at the EPCs of other properties free of charge by visiting the online EPC register. This lets you compare your home’s energy performance with that of similar properties.

How much does an EPC cost?

The cost will depend upon the size of the property, and the work involved to complete the assessment, but prices start at around £35.

What information is displayed on an EPC?

Your EPC will include the all-important rating of your property from A to G, displayed in a chart - similar to those supplied with electrical items such as fridges.

It will also include:

1. The estimated costs of running your home

The report will include details of how much it is likely to cost to heat and power your home with a list of savings you could make by improving the energy efficiency.

2. A summary of energy performance related features

The EPC shows how energy efficient different parts of your home are, including the walls, roof, windows and heating system.

What if I have a question about my EPC?

If you don’t understand the information on your EPC or think something is wrong, begin by contacting your energy assessor. You can also contact your assessor’s accreditation scheme - details will be listed on the certificate.

Find out more

Find out more about EPC rules on the government website

If you’re thinking of selling or renting out property and would like advice about energy performance certificates, or any other aspect of marketing your home, contact us today.

What is an EPC certificate? Energy Performance Certificates Explained (resurface from this -

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