EPCs explained: If you're selling or renting your home out, you need to make sure your home has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Here's why:
By law, all buildings that have been newly built, sold or rented out need an Energy Performance Certificate.
Likewise, if you're buying or renting a property, you need to make sure you look at the Energy Performance Certificate.
The EPC, which is valid for 10 years, will give you an idea of how expensive the property will be to run, in terms of your gas and electricity bills.
It's good to know as much as possible about your new home's energy efficiency before you move in - it will give you a good idea the amount of money you might need to spend on the house in future, whether it's on energy-efficient measures or on your energy bills.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
Energy Performance Certificates look similar to the EU Energy Labels you see on electrical appliances, like fridges and washing machines.
Essentially, Energy Performance Certificates are a list of statistics about the energy efficiency of your home. They also have recommendations on where you could make improvements.
EPCs carry ratings on energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. Two readings are given - one states the level of efficiency that your home is currently achieving, the other suggests what level of efficiency your home could be achieving if you were to put energy-efficient measures in place.
How does the rating work?
The rating scale is both colour coded and alphabetised, running from A to G:
A (Dark green) is highly efficient
G (Red) is low efficiency
Most homes appear around grade D, this is the average.
What other information does the certificate contain?
estimates of the energy your property potentially uses;
carbon dioxide emissions;
details of the person who carried out the assessment;
who to contact for complaints.
What if you're selling your property?
The recommendations are only a guide, so there are no legal obligations to make the changes that the report recommends. If you do make the changes, you will improve your home's energy rating and therefore make the property more attractive to buyers.
How do I get an Energy Performance Certificate?
If you're a landlord or a property owner you need to contact an accredited domestic energy assessor to assess your property and produce a certificate.
If you are working with an estate agent to rent your property out or sell it, they may already employ a domestic energy assessor. Otherwise they may be able to recommend one to you.
Which buildings need an EPC?
A building requires an EPC if it uses heating or air-conditioning. By definition, it uses energy to 'condition an indoor climate' i.e. between a roof and walls.
Every part of a building, or extension to a building that uses its own internal heating system will need an EPC.
I'm installing solar panels - do I need an Energy Performance Certificate?
If your property is below band D when you first apply for the Feed-in Tariff you will receive a lower rate, which will remain even if you improve your home's energy performance at a later date.
EPC's and the Green Deal
If you have a Green Deal assesment carried out on your property you'll get an EPC along with your Occupancy Assesment.
This EPC will indicate what you could do to improve the energy-efficiency of your home and what you could pay for with the Green Deal.
The EPC will also say if you have a Green Deal in place on your property.