What is an EPC certificate and why do I need one?
This is a guide for Energy Performance Certificates, an important document that outlines a property’s energy use and typical energy costs. They are required by law (since 2008) much like gas safety certificates. (link to this page when live).
We’ve tried our best to answer the important questions, but if you have more don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at haart.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
When you purchase a new appliance it always has a coloured sticker on it telling you how energy efficient the appliance is. This is the case for buildings. Each has an EPC rating from A, the most efficient, to G, the least efficient. The rating lets you know how costly it is to both warm up and cool down your home.
An EPC shows information on a property’s energy use and typical energy costs plus makes recommendations on how to reduce energy usage and increase efficiency. If you’re a landlord or selling a property, you must get this certificate ordered before you put the property on the market. If it’s still valid, you may be able to use the EPC given to you when you bought the property.
You can view EPCs for any property that has one at the national EPC register.
Do I need an EPC?
Since 2008 it has been a legal requirement to have an EPC whether you are selling a property or letting out. If you own a commercial property that you want to sell or lease, you’ll also need to get an EPC organised.
There are some exemptions to the requirement of an EPC. They include:
- A rented room within a house (a self-contained flat within a larger house that has its own front door and facilities will need one)
- Some types of listed buildings
- A property that cannot be modified to make it more energy efficient
How much does an EPC cost?
You should never be charged for an EPC whether you are looking to buy or rent. It should be presented to you for free by the seller or landlord (or their agent).
You can have an EPC commissioned for your personal use, to help mitigate energy use, but you will have to pay for it. They can range from around £35 to £120 but shop around to get a few quotes.
What information is displayed on an EPC?
An EPC will look like the multi-coloured sticker that you see on new household appliances. It will include:
- An energy efficiency rating
- The estimated costs of running your home
- A summary of energy performance related features
The energy efficiency rating on an EPC will be dedicated to how energy efficient your property is. As we mentioned before this is graded from A to G.
An older property with no retrofitted energy-saving technology will typically be around a D grade. Landlords are required to achieve a minimum of an E grade and can face a penalty of up to £4,000 for failure to meet this minimum efficiency requirement.
The summary of energy performance related features will help you to see how energy efficient different aspects of your home are. Use it as a guide to work out which areas to focus on first when improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Who can carry out an EPC?
An accredited domestic energy assessor can issue you with an EPC. An estate or letting agent can find one for you, but you can also do this yourself by visiting the EPC Register to search for one in your area.