An Energy Performance Certificate also known as an EPC, is a document which lays out the overall energy efficiency of a property in the form of a traffic light rating system of A to G. Within the EPC system A is the most efficient, with G the lowest.
An EPC will provide property owners, renters, developers and prospective buyers an idea of how much it will cost to heat and power a property. Ultimately, the more efficient your property is the less money it will cost to heat and power and therefore, having a more desirable EPC rating is much more desirable. The EPC document you will receive when the time comes, also includes recommendations for energy efficiency improvements.
When will I need to get an EPC?
You will need an EPC within 7-days of your property going on the market for sale or rent. If you are using an estate agent or letting agent, they should do this on your behalf. An EPC is a legal requirement in the UK and sellers and landlords who do not have an EPC can be fined up to £5,000.
How is an EPC carried out?
While you can book your EPC online, it will require a physical survey of your home by an accredited, domestic energy assessor. Therefore, you will need to employ qualified EPC testers.
How can I improve my EPC rating?
It is possible to improve your property’s energy performance rating and EPC through making changes that allow your property to become more energy efficient. For example, upgrading the property’s boiler, better insulating the property wherever possible to prevent excess heat loss and draught-proofing the property as well as various other practices can all improve the energy efficiency and heat retention of a property.
The UK government’s Green Homes Grant can be used to fund up to £10,000 of the works to be carried out to make the property greener and more efficient (provided you are a homeowner in England with a member of the household on eligible benefits).
Do I need an EPC on a commercial property?
If you own a commercial property, you will need an EPC in a variety of circumstances as a matter of necessity:
- If you rent out or sell your premises
- Changes are made to a part of the building for separate occupation
- A building under construction is completed
Can my property fail an EPC?
Although there is no such thing as ‘failing an EPC per se,’ as results are graded from A to G, you will not be able to rent a home with an EPC rating of less than E. it is also very unlikely that any prospective tenants would consider renting a property that has a very low EPC rating, perhaps as low as E or lower. UK law requires that the EPC shows a minimum rating of E for new tenants and as of April 2020, all existing properties with tenants within.
It is not possible to get a rating of F for an EPC. However, by law if your property received a rating of F or below, you will be legally required to carry out the recommended works up to a cost of £3,500 (including VAT). The government has pledged that by 2030 all privately rented homes must score an EPC of C of or above, as part of their drive to make the UK a greener and more energy efficient nation.
How much does an EPC cost?
Although there is no set fee for an EPC, prices start from around £60. How much it costs will depend on the size and type of property as well as what is required in the course of the necessary testing. It is always worth getting quotes from a few assessors in your area before booking in an EPC.
How do I know if my property has an EPC?
It is really easy to find out if your property already has an EPC. All you need to do is type your address into the government register. If it does have a valid EPC, you can download a PDF of your certificate and save it for free. Also, on online property portals, the EPC will usually be displayed prominently alongside the property in question as a matter of course.
How often will I need to get an EPC certificate?
An EPC is linked to the property and not the person who commissioned it or is living in the property. Once your EPC is completed it remains valid for 10 years. EPCs can be used and reused multiple times during this period.