What is an EPC?
Energy Performance Certificates show you how energy efficient your building is. There’s a simple energy efficiency rating system from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). EPC’s contain information such as; likely carbon dioxide emissions over a typical 12 month period and the predicted cost of heat and light. The certificate looks similar to the multi-coloured sticker seen on new electrical appliances.
The EPC will state what improvements can be made to make the building more energy efficient, prioritising the most cost-effective methods. These improvements may be worth implementing even if it is a rented property as they can save money, such as using energy efficient light bulbs or loft insulation.
When should you get one?
In the UK, you are not permitted to sell or rent out a dwelling without a valid Energy Performance Certificate. So they are needed for brand new homes as much as for existing rentals. If you are a landlord, you will need to have one to show to potential tenants. Likewise, a seller must have one to show to buyers.
The only exceptions to this are some historically listed buildings, or rooms for rent by a landlord who also lives at the same address.
Do you have to get one?
Since 2008 in England and Wales it has been the law that EPC’s are required to rent or sell properties in the UK. They remain valid for 10 years, so if your home has changed hands since then, it should have an certificate already.
Most certificates for properties in the UK can be viewed via the epc register, this shows all previous versions for a property and you can also look at similar properties in the area.
Who is responsible for obtaining an EPC?
If you are selling your home, or you are the landlord of a property that will be rented out; you are responsible for ensuring a valid EPC is available.
If you are buying or renting, you should never be charged for this. If you are then seller or landlord could be liable for a £200 fine.
If you simply wish to obtain an updated certificate for your home for personal use, you will need to pay for it.
If you are in the UK and your property has solar technology then you may be able to receive payments under the feed-in tariff. You will need to prove that your home has an EPC energy rating of band D or higher in order to receive feed-in tariff payments at the standard rate. To do this you will need to provide your EPC.
Who can carry out an EPC
EPC’s have to be carried out by accredited domestic energy assessors. If you are selling or renting, this service can typically be arranged by your estate agent or letting agent.
EPC for New Build
In order to obtain an EPC for a new build dwelling in the UK, you will need the services of an On Completion Domestic Energy Assessor (OCDEA). This is a more specialist version of a domestic energy assessor as the EPC must be produced by first undertaking a SAP Assessment.