Everything You Need to Know About EPC Registers and Certificate Guides
25 October 2021
If you are thinking about selling or renting out your property, one document you will require is an EPC. Here, we explain all you need to know about EPC registers and certificates and give you some ideas to improve your property’s energy efficiency.
What does EPC stand for?
EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate and is a document you will be required to produce if you want to sell or rent out a property.
Are EPC certificates a legal requirement?
An EPC is legally required if you are:
- Constructing a property
- Selling a property
- Renting out a property
If you are selling, your EPC needs to be available for buyers to view as soon as your property goes on the market.
What is an EPC certificate?
An EPC shows a buyer or renter how energy efficient your property is and states a projection of how much your property may cost to run. EPC’s were introduced in 2007 as a legal requirement for all homes being sold and are part of the drive to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.
An EPC is split into different sections:
1. Estimated running costs
The EPC will outline a projected cost for running the property over a 3 year period, taking into consideration lighting, heating and hot water.
2. Energy efficiency rating
The main section of an EPC details the current Energy Efficiency Rating of the property and a potential rating if changes or upgrades were made.
3. Top actions to save money and made your home energy efficient
The EPC’s final section gives you recommendations on how you can make your property more energy efficient and save money on future bills.
The EPC will state the projected cost of any improvements and the typical savings over a 3 year period.
What is an EPC rating?
EPC ratings run from an A-G with A being the most energy efficient and G the lowest. The further away your property is from an A rating, the more it will cost to run and the higher your bills will be.
The average rating for a UK property is currently a D.
How do you get an EPC and what is the EPC register?
To obtain an EPC, you will need to have your property assessed by a qualified domestic energy assessor. To find an assessor in your local area, log on to the government’s official EPC register.
How long does an EPC certificate last?
EPC’s last for 10 years. If you are selling your property and your EPC is still valid, you don’t need to do anything other than provide the EPC to your buyer.
For landlords renting out a property, you must provide a valid EPC for your tenants and your property must have at least an E rating in order to legally let.
How much does an EPC cost?
The overall cost of an EPC assessment varies depending on the size of your property and what kind of property it is. It is always a good idea to obtain a few quotes from different assessors.
Can an EPC be done online?
EPC assessments can be booked online but the actual assessment must be carried out in person by a qualified assessor.
The assessor will:
- Establish the age of your property and its construction method
- Measure the walls and floors
- Look at the heating systems, including your boiler and controls
- Discover if your property has cavity wall or loft insultation
- Explore any alternative heating systems such as solar panels, and energy efficient products, like energy saving bulbs
Can you fail an EPC assessment?
There are no ‘passes’ or ‘fails’ for EPCs, only the grading of your property’s energy efficiency from A-G.
However, if you are renting out a property, it must have an EPC rating of at least E to be legally let.
A low EPC rating can affect your property’s value – with the value of homes carrying an F or G rating potentially 14% less than those with an A or B rating.
How to improve your EPC rating
1. Wall and roof insulation
New, modern insulation can make a huge difference to your property’s energy efficiency rating. Heat rises, therefore, boosting your loft or roof insulation could help you save up to 25% of the heat lost through your property.
2. Double or triple glazing
Around 20% of the heat in your home can be lost through windows – but double or even triple glazed windows can dramatically reduce that.
A lot of modern homes have double glazing installed, however, if you live in an older property a few thousand spent on new, energy efficient window units could improve your EPC rating and help you save money on bills.
3. An energy efficient boiler
Your heating system can have a big impact on your property’s energy efficiency. And if your boiler is inefficient, it could be having a major effect on your EPC rating.
Boilers don’t tend to come cheap, but in the long term, a modern and energy efficient boiler will pay for itself through reduced heating bills.