Energy Performance Certificates Explained (EPC)
An energy performance certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement for anyone renting, selling or building a property in the United Kingdom. If you are buying a property, then you will also need to know what an EPC is, and what it will mean for your new home.
An EPC gives you a report on the energy efficiency of a property. The ratings run from G which is at the bottom end of the efficiency scale and depicted in red, up to A which is very efficient, and depicted in green. The objective of the certificate is to indicate how much it will cost you on average to heat and light the property, as well as how much carbon dioxide it emits.
An EPC comes with a recommendation report which sets out any improvements that can be made to help reduce the energy bills for the property, and the potential rating that could be achieved if those recommendations were followed. These could be, for example, fitting cavity wall insulation; the installation of low energy lighting or replacing an ageing boiler with a modern energy efficient model.
The higher up the scale the rating, the lower the cost to run the property, and the more attractive it will be to those buying or letting it. So if you are selling or renting, then it is advisable to follow the recommendations wherever possible.
When should I get an EPC?
If you are buying a property, whether it is a resale property or new build, then you should be provided with an EPC. Landlords must also provide potential tenants with an EPC. In all cases the certificates must be provided free of charge.
How do I get an EPC?
An EPC must be produced by a registered domestic energy assessor. You can find one of these on the EPC register. The EPC register stores existing certificates and allows you to search for an EPC by entering a reference number or a property address. All new certificates are placed on the register, and are valid for 10 years.
How much does an EPC cost
The cost of an EPC will vary from between around £60 and £120. If you are selling a property through Excel, or if you are a landlord taking advantage of our property management services, then an EPC will be included and we will make all the arrangements on your behalf.
Is there anything else I need to know about energy efficiency when letting a property?
As of 1 April 2016, assured shorthold tenants and some other residential tenants in England and Wales have the right under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 to request consent from their landlords to make energy efficiency related improvements to the properties they are renting.
If you are a landlord, you will not be permitted to unreasonably refuse consent providing the request complies with the Regulations. The cost of the improvements will be the tenant’s responsibility, and they must fall into the category of those that qualify for Green Deal funding, or be measures that connect the property to mains gas. Requests must be made in writing and landlords must serve a Full Response or a Counter Proposal.
From 1 April 2018, all rented property (both domestic and non-domestic) which is to have a new tenancy must have an EPC rating of at least “E”. This requirement also applies to all renewal tenancies to the same tenant for the same property on or after 1 April 2018. The duty is also triggered by any periodic tenancy arising on or after 1 April 2018 after the expiry of any fixed term because the duty is not only triggered by a renewal but also “an extension”.
From 1 April 2020, all domestic lettings (including existing) must achieve an “E” rating or better.