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What is an energy performance certificate?
An Energy Performance Certificate is a survey of how energy efficient a property is. After a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) conducts the survey, they issue an EPC.
Energy Performance Certificates are valid for ten years and will grade your property between A and G. ‘A’ is an indication of a high level of energy efficiency, with ‘G’ showing poor energy efficiency.
Most prospective buyers or tenants will find a property with a higher EPC rating more attractive. It can mean fewer improvements are required and monthly energy bills will be lower.
Thankfully, obtaining an EPC is simple. Most sellers contact an accredited energy assessor directly or speak to their estate agent who can arrange one on their behalf.
An Energy Performance Certificate costs between £50 – £100. Compared to the other expenses involved in selling a house, it is one of the more affordable. Remember, when selling a property, an Energy Performance Certificate is usually required by law.
Do you need an EPC to sell a house in the UK?
In most cases, everyone needs an EPC when selling a property in the UK. Anyone building or renting a property will also need a valid EPC by law. However, there are a few exceptions.
An EPC is not required if the building is temporary and will not be used for more than 2 years, is due to be demolished, or is a small building with a floor space of fewer than 50 metres.
Places of worship, holiday accommodation rented out for less than four months a year, residential buildings intended for less than four months of use a year, and listed buildings are also exempt from requiring a valid Energy Performance Certificate.
If you already have a valid Energy Performance Certificate then you don’t need to pay for a new one. Certificates are issued to the property and not the owner. They were introduced in 2007, and last for ten years, so if you purchased your property fairly recently, the Energy Performance Certificate may still be valid.
You can still use an in-date EPC, even if you did not pay for it.
Is it illegal not to have an EPC when selling a house?
As long as you have ordered an EPC before putting your property on the market, you can sell your house. A seller, landlord, or letting agent must show a valid Energy Performance Certificate to a potential buyer or renter and could face a fine without one.
Is there a minimum EPC for selling a house?
Unlike renting, there is no minimum EPC rating for selling a house. So, even if it results in an energy efficiency rating of ‘G’ (the lowest), this will not impact the sale from a legal viewpoint.
However, prospective buyers may take issue with bad ratings, especially if considering similar properties that are significantly more energy-efficient.
With many people becoming more aware of a house’s environmental impact, potential buyers should know this information if they wish to rent a property. F or G ratings are considered to be ‘unrentable’ as part of new legislation.
There are minimum energy efficiency standards to comply with, but failure to make the necessary upgrades can land a fine of up to £5,000.
Generally speaking, obtaining an ‘E’ rating is not difficult, as some of the installations needed to meet this standard include double glazing and gas central heating with a combi boiler.
It is within a landlord’s best interest to get the changes done as lower energy bills and a better-insulated property will be more attractive to potential tenants.
How do I check my Energy Performance Certificate?
If you need a copy of the existing EPC or wish to check for its authenticity, you can use the EPC Register. This can be found at https://www.epcregister.com/home.html. You’ll need to enter the RRN (Report Reference Number) for the existing EPC.
You can also search Energy Performance Certificate ratings for properties in your area at no extra charge. This is useful for comparing the energy efficiency of your home to similar properties.
Many homeowners use this new information to improve their property by upgrading the heating, water, and lighting. Energy Performance Certificates even tell you the potential savings you can make on your bills should you decide to stay in your current home.
Checking an Energy Performance Certificate can reveal valuable information when buying. If you are considering your next move, check the property energy rating to understand more about the monthly cost of the bills.
Where can I find an EPC for a property?
Check the property’s energy efficiency rating with an EPC checker and gain valuable information on the house in question. These checks will also show if a property has a valid certificate.
The EPC Register has a free EPC checker to show the expiry date of an Energy Performance Certificate using just the address. It will also show current and potential energy ratings, a brief description of property construction, and information about the energy efficiency of the property.
How long does an Energy Performance Certificate last?
An Energy Performance Certificate lasts for 10 years. First introduced in 2007, many certificates are still valid so check to see if your property still has an in-date rating using an EPC checker.
The EPC does not transfer to the previous owner so your property may have a valid certificate.
This means a certificate can be used as part of the sale of a house multiple times. However, if the certificate has expired, a property cannot be marketed for sale unless the seller has ordered a new EPC.
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