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  • Writer's pictureLucy ay Winova

EPC Certificates Explained

EPC Certificate Explained

In the UK, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and EPC rating are important when you are looking to buy, to sell and to rent homes as it confirms how energy-efficient your property is. It can also vastly affect how much your property is worth and how much it costs to run.

With the law and government rules changing over the year, knowing the processes and current standards needed for your property will help you avoid penalties and still make a profit on your properties. Here's a short guide about EPCs.

What is an EPC?

EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. It contains information about a property’s energy efficiency. The data is represented by way of a traffic light system - rated from A (highly efficient) through to G (inefficient).

It's key to buying, selling or renting a property as it gives you an idea of the:

· energy bills

· carbon emissions

· how your home’s energy efficiency can be improved

· highlights cost effective ways to achieve a better rating, and

· the savings you could potentially enjoy

EPCs are valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

What is included in an EPC certificate?

Not all EPCs will look the same, but the final EPC report will mostly cover the following:

· Current and estimated energy costs – this is the first section. It shows you how much the energy bills for the property will likely cost you, and give you an estimate of how much lower these could be if you improved its energy efficiency.

· Energy performance summary – it shows you the detailed breakdown of each energy efficient feature of a property along with a description and energy rating to help you understand its effectiveness.

· Recommended measures - for EPC rating improvement, the report provides a list of energy efficient ideas for your home that could help improve it. They are shown in order of importance and the benefits on making the improvements.

· Understanding the EPC report - the final section provides basic information about the EPC report including the date of assessment, the assessor and their accrediting body.

Even if you're not moving, an EPC certificate could also help you with a range of energy-efficient ideas for your home to reduce your energy bills and carbon emissions. Once improvements are made, ensure that you will issue a new EPC.

What is an EPC Rating?

An EPC rating is a review of a property’s energy efficiency. They’re primarily used by prospective buyers or renters to quickly see how much their energy bills will cost in their new house or flat.

This is most likely the most noticeable part of the whole certificate. The color-coded sign of the property’s current standing and what it could potentially reach.

Your property will be given an energy-efficiency grade between A and G:

· A is the best, the most energy-efficient, lowest CO2 emissions and smallest bills and cheapest to run

· EPC rating F or G is the least effective, highest CO2 emissions and biggest bills

New-build homes tend to have high EPC ratings, while older homes often have lower ratings of around D or E. The average EPC rating for a home in the UK is D.

This rating shows you how energy efficient the property is, how well it conserves its heat and energy and how costly running the property might be.

EPCs are carried out by EPC assessors. The assessor will do a brief survey of your home before producing the EPC and take many factors into consideration and give you a rating.

Factors that affect an EPC rating

· The amount of energy used per m2

· The level of CO2 emissions (given in tons per year)

Which are influenced by a range of factors such as:

· age of the property

· use of different areas of the property

· the energy source used to heat, cool, and ventilate a property

· age and type of boiler in the property

· your thermostat, radiators and heating programmer

· the number of lights and energy-saving light bulbs you have

· loft insulation

Do I need an EPC?

Yes, it's a legal requirement in the UK to have a valid EPC when you build, lease or sell a property.

Homeowners and landlords will need to request an EPC certificate for a property they are selling or renting in the UK, and they must show it to you. Estate agents or letting agents should ensure there’s a valid EPC certificate for any property they're selling or letting on behalf of a client.

There are some exemptions to the requirement of an EPC. They include:

· A rented room within a house (a self-contained flat within a larger house that has its own front door and facilities will need one)

· Some types of listed buildings

· A property that cannot be modified to make it more energy efficient

If you’re looking to buy a property, the seller will need to provide the EPC to let you know the property’s energy efficiency.

If you’re a landlord renting out your property or you’re selling your home, you need to have the EPC available as soon as you can. Even if you’re only renting out individual rooms, you’ll still need a certificate for the whole property.

How do I obtain an Energy Performance Certificate?

If you are using an estate or letting agent, they usually handle on obtaining an EPC for you. But, if you wish to do it yourself, however, an EPC must be carried out by an accredited domestic energy assessor. Visit the page - Getting a new energy certificate, to find yourself a local qualified assessor.

The survey will take 45 minutes to an hour to complete. They will assess your walls, windows, insulation, roof and boiler. They will then be able to give an idea of how much it will cost to heat and power your home for the EPC.

How much does an EPC cost

There’s no fixed cost for an EPC, but according to HomeOwners Alliance, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) typically costs between £60 and £120. The EPC cost will vary depending on:

· the size of your property

· location of your property

· the type of building

To get the best deal, you should compare EPC quotes from energy assessors - but make sure your assessor is registered.

Getting an assessment done directly rather than through an estate agent can help you reduce the cost too.

How to Improve Your EPC Rating

Improving your EPC means improving your home's energy efficiency. If your property has a low EPC rating, there are lots of things you can change about a property to improve your EPC grading.

Along with the rating, your certificate will show the maximum potential rating your property could reach by making impactful changes. These changes will enable your property to conserve energy and function more effectively:

· Insulate your loft

· Get a new boiler

· Install double glazing

· Invest in double or triple glazed windows

· Upgrade your lighting to LED light bulbs

· Install solar panels

Our tips on saving on your energy bills might help you improve your home’s energy efficiency. Check out our blog on the Top 10 Energy Saving Tips For Your Property.

New Rules Concerning EPC Ratings

The UK Government asserts that improving the EPC of privately rented homes consultation will bring substantial benefits to landlords, tenants and our environment.

Regulations requiring all rental properties to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) includes:

· All new tenancies from 1 April 2025 and all existing tenancies by 1 April 2028 must meet band C or higher on an EPC.

· Requiring a valid EPC to be in place at all times while a property is let.

The new rules, which are part of the government’s long-term plans to reach its ‘net zero’ carbon emissions target by 2050, are likely to have a significant impact on both existing and future landlords as well as the UK’s housing supply.

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