All domestic and commercial buildings in the UK available to buy or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If you own a home, getting an energy performance survey done could help you identify ways to save money on your energy bills and improve the comfort of your home.
WHAT ARE EPCs?
Much like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (very inefficient). EPCs let the person who will use the building know how costly it will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.
The EPC will also state what the energy-efficiency rating could be if improvements are made, and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating. Even if you rent your home, some improvements noted on the EPC may be worth implementing, such as switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs.
EPCs are also used to calculate the amount of funding available for certain energy saving grant schemes, such as the ECO scheme. In general, the worse the rating of the EPC, the more funding is available for your property.
EPCs are valid for 10 years from when issued.
Why get an EPC?
Your property’s EPC needs to be available to potential buyers as soon as you start to market your property for sale or rent. You must get an approved Domestic Energy Assessor to produce the EPC.
If you implement any of the energy efficiency recommendations outlined in your EPC, you may wish to get a fresh EPC done to include these improvements.
EPCS AND FEED-IN TARIFFS
Customers in England, Wales and Scotland wishing to get payments under the Government’s feed-in tariff (FIT) for solar PV will have to prove their home has an EPC rating of band D or above to receive FITs at the standard rate. You will need to be able to produce your existing EPC (as long as it is less than 10 years old) or obtain a new one.
WHO PRODUCES ENERGY REPORTS AND EPCS?
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, only accredited Domestic Energy Assessors can produce valid EPCs.
For a list of approved EPC organisations in England and Wales, visit Landmark to view the energy performance certificate register.
For a list of approved EPC organisations in Northern Ireland visit Landmark for Northern Ireland.
If you are selling or renting your home through an estate agent, they may be able to arrange for the EPC to be completed for you.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON EPCS
For more information on EPCs in England and Wales, visit the EPC pages at Directgov.
For more information on EPCs in Northern Ireland, visit NI direct and see the Department of Finance office’s information on EPCs.
If you are in Scotland, only organisations approved by the Scottish Government can produce valid EPCs. Visit the Scottish Government website to find a list of approved EPC organisations.
If you are selling your home through a selling agent, you should ask them to arrange for a Home Report (which will include an Energy Report and EPC) to be made.