An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a requirement whenever a property is built, sold or rented in the UK. Not only are they a legal requirement, but they can help you improve the efficiency of your home and save money on your energy bills.
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An EPC is a certificate containing information about your property’s typical energy costs. It will also contain recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency in your property. This means they can help you reduce the amount of energy you consume and how much you spend on it.
EPCs are issued after the property is inspected by an accredited assessor and are valid for 10 years.
EPCs are relatively straightforward to read. They are similar to the multi-coloured stickers you find on new household appliances.
Your EPC will include:
If you are a property seller or landlord then you are responsible for arranging an EPC to show to prospective buyers or tenants.
If you are a seller or landlord and do not have an EPC you can be fined £200.
Landlord’s must also make sure their properly meets a minimum of E grade (unless there is an exemption). You can face a penalty of up to £4000 for failure to meet minimum efficiency requirements.
There are some exemptions for EPCs. A rented room within a house will not need an EPC, however self-contained flats within a larger house are not exempt. Listed buildings are also exempt from EPC requirements because they cannot be modified to make them more energy efficient.
If you are buying or renting a property you should not be charged for an EPC. Your landlord or seller should hand over the EPC free of charge.
If you are buying a commercial property that you want to sell or lease then you will need to organise an EPC. You may be able to pass on the one that comes with your property.
If you want to know the energy performance of your home then you can commission an EPC for personal use. You will have to pay for it, but it can be a cheap and easy way to assess the energy-saving potential of your home and save you money in the long-term.
EPCs must be carried out by an accredited domestic energy assessor. Your estate agent or letting agent may offer one but you can often save money by finding your own and comparing prices. You can search for accredited assessors in your area using the EPC register.
EPCs do not have a fixed fee and the cost of your EPC will depend upon the type of property you live in and how many bedrooms it has. The area you live in can also change the cost of an EPC.
The cost of an EPC is between £60 and £120. It’s worth comparing quotes as costs vary so much and it’s important to make sure your assessor is registered.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) set energy efficiency regulations for private rented properties in the UK. They aim to ensure landlords raise the energy efficiency of their properties.
Because of MEES, the lowest rating for a privately rented property is E. If you are a landlord with an EPC rating of F or G you will not be able to let your property without increasing its energy efficiency.
Landlords are required to make improvements up to the maximum cost of £3,500. If your property cannot be brought up to an E rating without spending more then you will need to apply for an exemption.