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What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?


If you’re putting your home up for sale or rent in the UK, it's essential to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property.These reports were introduced by the government in 2007 to promote greater energy efficiency in homes. This initiative stems from the fact that approximately 22% of carbon emissions in the UK originate from residential properties, largely due to heating, lighting, and household appliances.

A property with a high energy efficiency rating typically results in lower utility bills. Hence, it's advisable to review a property’s EPC when browsing listings on platforms like I Am the Agent. You can find the EPC details within the property description.

Here's what you need to know about EPCs:

What is an EPC?

An EPC is a report prepared by an accredited domestic energy assessor who assesses the energy consumption and warmth retention of your property through an onsite visit.

What does an EPC check involve?

During the assessment, potential sources of heat loss or draughts are evaluated. This includes examining insulation levels in floors and walls, the quality of windows (e.g., double glazing), and the overall heat retention capability of the home. The assessment also includes a review of electrical systems and the use of energy-efficient lighting.

Your property’s energy rating is depicted similarly to labels found on appliances like fridges or washing machines, ranging from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). Additionally, your property receives a numerical score out of 100, with higher scores indicating lower energy bills.

An EPC also provides recommendations for enhancing energy efficiency, along with the potential rating your property could achieve with improvements.

How long does an EPC last?

An EPC remains valid for 10 years, covering the property throughout this period, regardless of ownership changes. However, if you've made energy-efficient upgrades since the last assessment, the new improvements won't reflect in the existing EPC until you obtain a new one.

How can I find my property’s energy rating?

You can easily check your property's current rating on the government's EPC register, provided it has been assessed.

In England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, you can search for your EPC here. In Scotland, you can check here.

How do I obtain an EPC?

You can request an EPC through the "purchase extra" section in your account area.

What are the costs?

EPC costs vary depending on location and property size, typically around £120.

Who is responsible for obtaining an EPC?

If you're selling your property, you're responsible for obtaining and covering the cost of the EPC, which you'll provide to I Am The Agent and potential buyers. Landlords must also furnish the EPC to prospective tenants, while builders must provide one for new builds.

Is an EPC mandatory?

Yes, it's a legal requirement for selling, renting out to new tenants, or constructing a new property. Without a valid EPC, you must demonstrate to I Am The Agent that you've commissioned one before listing your property.

Landlords cannot lease a property with an EPC rating below E, unless exempt. They must provide tenants with a copy of the certificate upon moving in. Additionally, tenants can seek consent from landlords for energy-efficiency enhancements, though at their own expense unless otherwise agreed.

Listed buildings are exempt under certain energy performance standards.

In Scotland, the property’s EPC must be displayed within the premises, typically in the meter cupboard or near the boiler.

How does my property's energy rating compare?

The average energy rating for homes in England and Wales is currently D, with an average score of 60.

Generally, properties constructed after 2012 boast an average EPC rating of B, while those built since 1983 typically score a C. However, properties erected before 1900 usually have an average rating of E, with houses often scoring lower than flats.

Can I enhance my property’s energy rating?

Your EPC will outline various options for improving energy efficiency, presented in a prioritized manner to maximize energy savings.

For instance, insulating your home before investing in a new boiler is more efficient, as it reduces reliance on heating. Similarly, installing double or triple-glazed windows enhances insulation.

Furthermore, adding solar panels can elevate your EPC rating by generating renewable energy on-site.