Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

 

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an EU requirement that gives home owners, tenants and buyers information on the energy efficiency of their property.  It gives the building a standard energy and carbon emission efficiency grade from A to G, where A is the most efficient and with the average to date being D.

EPCs are similar to the certificates now provided with domestic appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines.  They give owners, occupiers and purchasers information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of their property.

A typical example of the Energy Performance Certificate can be seen in the image below:             

Example of energy efficiency rating graph for homes

 Sample of an EPC document:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/2116821.pdf

EPCs can only be produced as a result of a survey by an accredited Energy Assessor or Home Inspector.  EPCs are used to collect standard information on the property for example, its size, construction, insulation and hot water/heating systems.  The information is then fed into a government-approved software programme which produces the EPC.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/BuyingAndSellingYourHome/
Energyperformancecertificates/DG_177026

 

What else does the certificate do? 

EPCs are measured using the same calculations for all homes, so you can therefore compare the energy efficiency of different properties on the market.  The EPC also indicates the potential rating that your home could achieve, if you made the recommended changes. 


The report details:

  • suggested improvements (such as fitting loft insulation)
  • the approximate cost 
  • possible cost savings per year if the improvements are made
  • how this would change the energy and carbon emission rating of the property

This information may be used to:

  • cut your fuel bills 
  • improve energy performance in your home 
  • help cut carbon emissions 
  • help you choose a more energy efficient home to rent or buy

You do not have to act on the recommendations contained in the recommendation report.  However, if you decide to do so, then it could make your property more attractive for sale or rent by making it more energy efficient. 

Who needs an EPC?  

The EPC is required by law when a building is constructed, sold or put up for rent.

Sellers or buyers of homes:
All sellers of homes need to ensure that they provide an EPC for potential buyers.  An EPC must be made available to a potential homebuyer free of charge.

Builders:
An EPC needs to be provided to buyers of newly built properties.

Landlords:
Landlords have to make an EPC available to prospective tenants the first time a home is let.  An EPC is only required for a property which is self-contained, and is valid for 10 years.  An EPC is not required when a tenant rents a room and shares facilities.

Tenants:
When renting a property an EPC must be made available to you free of charge.  An EPC is only required for a property which is self-contained, and is valid for 10 years.  An EPC is not required when you rent a room and share facilities.

If you are not in one of the above categories:
Even if you do not fall into the above categories, you can still apply for and receive an EPC.  This may be because you want to know what the energy efficiency of your home is and implement improvements suggested by the recommendation report.

How long is an EPC valid?

Private homes:
An EPC is valid for 10 years however, even if still valid when you put a property on the market it may prudent to have an inspection to produce a new EPC if energy efficient improvements have taken place since the original was produced.

Rented property and accommodation: 
EPCs for private rented properties and accommodation are valid for 10 years from the date of the original EPC inspection date. 

Commercial buildings: 
An EPC provided for a commercial property is valid for 10 years from the date of the original EPC inspection date. 

http://www.epcadviser.direct.gov.uk/epcadviser.html