What is an Energy Performance Certificate and Why Do I Need One?

11 January 2017

An Energy Performance Certificate, also known as an EPC, is required before a property can be sold or rented. The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 imposes a duty on sellers and landlords to instruct an EPC prior to marketing the property. This applies to both residential and commercial buildings.

The purpose of the scheme is to promote the energy performance of buildings. If you don’t obtain a valid EPC you could be fined.

There are certain buildings that are exempt from requiring an EPC, some examples of which are:

  • Places of worship
  • Temporary buildings that are to be used for less than 2 years
  • Standalone buildings with less than 50 square metres of floor space
  • Some industrial sites, workshops and agricultural buildings
  • Some buildings that are due to be demolished

When considering selling or renting a property you may instruct an Estate Agent who may be affiliated with Assessors and can help you arrange an EPC. Alternatively, you can contact local surveyors or look on the Department for Communities and Local Government website to find a local Assessor. Costs vary from £35 to over £200 depending on the size of the building. It is worthwhile shopping around for a competitive fee, but you should also ensure the Assessor is registered.

Once you have instructed an Assessor they will attend the property before it is marketed and carry out an appraisal. The Assessor will look at the building, the size, type, age, construction materials, insulation, roof type, heating systems and glazing. The report will not comment on the condition of the property, merely the energy efficiency.  

Once all of the information is collated the EPC will be produced reflecting the energy performance of the building. The certificate is generated from the Assessor reviewing the data gathered and using a government approved software package. The certificate is valid for 10 years. It will be dated and provide an estimate of energy use. 

The EPC will include an asset rating and also recommendations. The asset rating is colour coded with the most efficient rating being A with the lowest being G. The recommendation report will provide suggestions to increase energy performance at the property, the potential cost together with typical savings. 

When buying a property you should consider the results of the EPC and determine if you can make any savings once you have moved in.

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