Everything you need to know about an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
09 March 2023
Understanding what an Energy Performance Certificate is before buying or selling a property is extremely useful.
For buyers, it allows you to check the running costs and environmental impact of running the property, and for sellers, it will suggest improvements you can make before marketing your property for maximum return.
Read our FAQs below along with an overview from Chris Todd, Property Partner at Lindsays.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An Energy Performance Certificate or EPC for short, is a report that measures the energy efficiency of a property.
The report contains information about the property’s energy use and typical costs to heat and power it, as well as recommendations on how to reduce energy use and save money.
The two ratings you will find in the report are the energy efficiency rating and the environmental impact rating. Both are measured on a traffic light scale from A being the most efficient, to G being the least efficient.
A higher rating means the energy bills for the property are likely to be lower.
When do I need an EPC?
An EPC is legally required whenever a property is built, sold or rented and the report lasts for 10 years.
It’s the law in Scotland to display the EPC somewhere in the property such as in the boiler or meter cupboard.
How do I get an EPC?
An EPC report can only be produced by an assessor who is a member of a Scottish Government approved organisation. You can search for an assessor who works in your area on the Scottish EPC register.
How can I check if I have an EPC or get a copy of the certificate?
It’s easy to find out if a property already has an EPC, just type your address in to the government register. If it already has a valid EPC, you can download it as a PDF and save it for free.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, there are some exceptions The only buildings which do not require an EPC are:
- Standalone buildings (other than dwellings) with a useful floor area of less than 50 m².
- Temporary buildings with a planned use of two years or less.
- Buildings with a low energy demand, e.g. non-residential agricultural buildings and workshops.
- Buildings sold for the purpose of demolition.
What is the average EPC rating in Scotland?
The current average energy efficiency rating in Scotland is band D (61) and the average environmental impact rating is band D (59).
Chris Todd, Property Partner at Lindsays comments:
“The requirement to have an EPC when selling residential property has been around for nearly 15 years now.
"Most commonly sellers have an EPC inspection carried out at the time of selling their property with the EPC forming part of the Home Report pack alongside the single survey, mortgage valuation and property questionnaire.
"An EPC has a shelf life of 10 years and are seen as a useful tool to aid energy saving improvements in the household.
"If you need any further details in relation to the EPC and whether one is required then contact your local TSPC member solicitor estate agent for advice.”