Energy Performance Certificates Explained
An EPC, which stands for Energy Performance Certificate, is issued by an accredited domestic energy assessor. Every residential home in the UK must have an EPC in place by law. Both homeowners and landlords are required to get an EPC before they are allowed to sell their property or rent it out to tenants.
EPCs are intended to make properties more energy efficient, which is good for the environment. The EPC displays data and visual indicators to show how energy efficient a home is. It also gives buyers or tenants a useful indication as to how much it will cost to heat and power their home over the course of a year.
What information is included in the report?
1. Information about energy efficiency in the property and CO2 emissions.
2. Advice on how to lower energy usage and CO2 emissions.
Energy Efficiency Rating and Environmental (CO2) Impact Rating
The EPC document shows energy performance in a graded way by using a colour coded scale and the letters A to G. An EPC lasts for 10 years.
A is the most energy efficient rating and is coloured bright green.
G is the least energy efficient rating and is coloured red.
The letters B, C, D, E, and F are coloured in varying shades of green, amber, and red.
As a guide, the average rating across all domestic properties in the UK is D and E. It is inadvisable to buy or rent a property rated F or G, and sellers and landlords need to improve the energy efficiency of low rated homes before selling or letting them out.
It is actually illegal to sell or rent with an EPC rating below E under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Legislation which came into force in England and Wales in April 2018. The only exceptions are some listed buildings and temporary accommodation.
The report recommends ways to reduce energy used, and by doing so, how this would create less CO2 emissions also.
The report may offer suggestions such as fitting double glazing and loft insulation.
The report highlights how these improvements could help to save money per year.
The report shows how these changes would lower energy usage and reduce CO2 emissions.
You are not required by law to make these changes. However, if you wish to sell your house in the future, or let it to tenants, your property may appeal more to buyers and tenants, the more energy efficient it is; because it will be less expensive to run in terms of energy bills.
The EPC will contain estimates of energy use; CO2 emissions and energy costs; contact information of the Energy Assessor conducting the assessment; and details of the complaints procedure.
When are EPCs Required and Should They be Renewed?
If you intend to let or sell a property you need an EPC. It is a legal requirement and can result in a £200 fine if there isn’t a valid report. It is valid for 10 years, but if you carry out any major work to your property, it could be worth getting a new EPC.
How do I find out if I need an EPC?
All EPCs in the UK are stored on a national government database and attached to the property address. An EPC certificate remains valid for ten years, so it’s worth checking to see whether a previous owner had an EPC carried out. It is completely free to check whether your property has a valid EPC in place, you can search for residential EPC's using the Governements 'Find an energy certificate' service.