What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement, and needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. Its purpose is to give prospective buyers an idea of how efficiently a home uses energy, the cost of running that home and recommendations on how to improve the property’s energy efficiency. An EPC will remain valid for ten years.
Are there any exceptions?
EPCs are not needed for a room being let in a landlord's own home, if the landlord continues to be a resident there themself. Some listed buildings may also be exempt as they cannot be upgraded by things like double glazing.
Do I pay for the EPC when I buy or rent a property?
No - it should be supplied to you free of charge and, if it is not, the seller or landlord could be fined £200.
If you do not have an EPC for your own home, and are interested in knowing its energy performance, for the purposes of comparison, there is nothing to stop you from commissioning one, but you will have to pay for it.
How much does it cost?
There is no fixed charge for an EPC, as it depends on several factors including what type of property it is for and how many bedrooms it has. The price can also be affected by the area in which you live. Prices typically start at £35, but large houses in expensive locations could easily cost many times that.
What does it mean?
Part of an EPC shows how energy-efficient the property is. It is graded from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient, and G the least.
There is also a scale of numbers from 1 - 100, with a higher number signifying better efficiency and lower fuel bills. The EPC is meant to provide an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power the home. Information is also provided on potential savings that could be made should you improve the energy efficiency.
Another section of the EPC shows the energy-efficiency of different aspects of the home, such as the walls, windows, lighting, etc. This can help you to work out which areas to focus on first when looking to improve matters.
From April 2018, landlords will be required to attain a minimum 'E' rating for their rental property and, unless exempted, will face a penalty of up to £4,000 for failure to do this.
Who can I get to carry out an EPC?
This can only be done by an accredited domestic energy assessor. We can recommend one of our own, or you can find one yourself if you want to compare prices.