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What is an EPC and Why Do You Need One?

An Energy Performance Certificate or EPC has become fairly standard for homes in the UK in the last few years. When you are selling a property, it’s a useful reference for buyers to makes sure that they are buying a home which is properly insulated and shows they don’t have to do extra work on the structure. It’s also a legal requirement.

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate basically rates your home’s energy efficiency from A (highly efficient) to G (not very efficient). In England and Wales, you need to have an EPC if you are selling or renting out a property. In Scotland, you have to display your certificate in your property.

When you arrange for an EPC you will get a rundown of your property’s energy usage and how much it costs you each year in utility bills. You’ll also get recommendations for improving your certificate level such as putting in extra insulation or changing your doors and windows to more efficient ones. An EPC needs to be arranged through an accredited assessor.

Who Needs One?

Everyone in England and Wales who is thinking of selling their property or wants to rent it out has to get and EPC. There are some exceptions such as religious places, industrial buildings that don’t use a lot of energy and listed buildings, but on the whole, if you are putting your home up for sale or acting as a landlord, you need one. If you don’t have one under these circumstances you can be fined.

Other Benefits of Having an EPC

An EPC is fairly simple to arrange and doesn’t cost a great deal. It’s worth having even if you are not selling your home as it comes with recommendations on how to improve your energy efficiency. This can greatly reduce your utility bills if you take the advice and put in the measures. If you do come to sell your house, having a good energy rating can be a great selling point for your property. It shows that the new buyer doesn’t have to update the double glazing or fix the cavity wall insulation, change to a more efficient boiler and so on.

How to Get an EPC

You can find a domestic energy assessor in your local area by visiting the government website and putting in your details. It’s important to choose one that is accredited to do this kind of work and if you find salesmen coming up to your door unsolicited and offering to do an EPC, you should be wary and at least check them out. Costs vary between £40 and £120 and it’s worth shopping around in your local area.

The assessor will arrange to come to your home and will take a look at your property. They will then go away and produce your certificate along with recommendations for how to improve your rating. If you have been given an A rating, then there is probably little for you to do. A G rating could mean you can implement some important energy savings measures and save money on your utility bills.

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