Home Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an assessment required for domestic properties when they are constructed, sold or rented to tenants. The Energy Performance Certificate provides details on the energy performance of the property and gives an indication of how much it will cost to heat, as well as actions that could be taken to improve overall energy efficiency.

 

Do I need an EPC?

If you are planning to build, sell or let property either in the commercial or domestic market, it is a legal requirement to have an EPC assessment.

 

How do I get an EPC certificate?  

You can obtain an EPC certificate by visiting the EPC Register website and locating an assessor in your area. You will be required to share a copy of the completed assessment with prospective tenants, or prior to producing marketing materials for the sale or let of a property.

 

What is assessed in an EPC?

The EPC assessment considers issues that directly affect the efficiency of the property. This includes insulation, the heating system and lighting. It doesn’t consider the overall quality or condition of the property. The assessment also produces recommendations on how the energy-efficiency can be improved.

 

How long does an EPC last?

 An EPC certificate and the accompanying recommendation report lasts for ten years unless another EPC has been produced in the intervening period..

How to improve your EPC rating

There are several steps you can take to improve a property’s EPC rating. The biggest impact you can make to your EPC rating is improving the insulation in the walls and roof.

 

When is an EPC not required?

There are a few exceptions when an an EPC certificate is not required.

You don’t need an EPC if you can prove that your commercial property is any of the following:

  • Currently vacant
  • Listed or officially protected and the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it
  • A temporary building only going to be used for 2 years or less
  • Used as a place of worship or for other religious activities
  • An industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that will use minimal energy
  • A detached building with a total floor space of under 50 square metres
  • Scheduled to be demolished by the seller or landlord, with all the relevant planning and conservation consents agreed.

As of 2020, EPC assessments are required for all tenancies, both commercial and domestic. If you are intending on renting a property, you need to provide an EPC prior to the tenancy being agreed.

 

How much does an EPC cost?

There isn’t a fixed price for an EPC assessment, it depends on your location and the size of the property.

 

Penalties for not having an EPC

There are fines for non-compliance with EPC regulations.

The owner of any domestic building can be fined £200 if an EPC is not issued when constructed or renovated or before a sale or rental agreement. For commercial properties, the penalty is 12.5 % of the rateable value of the building. The penalties range from £500 to a maximum of £5,000.

 

Can you get an EPC online?

Your property needs to be assessed in-person. You can find a list of accredited EPC assessors here.

 

Breakdown of EPC ratings

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from ‘A’ (the most efficient) to ‘G’ (the least efficient) and remains usable for ten years. Since the introduction of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), the lowest rating a potential rental property can rank is ‘E’. Any properties rate ‘F’ or ‘G’ are prohibited under MEES legislation from being rented.

 

Average EPC grades

When your property is assessed, an EPC rating between ‘A’ to ‘G’ is allocated. The average UK domestic property ranks at grade ‘D’[1]. The recommended rating for a property is ‘C’, which is why the UK government has committed to further grant investment to help property owners improve their energy-efficiency.

 

[1] https://www.savills.co.uk/research_articles/229130/304623-0/epcs-and-the-green-homes-grant

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