Since this is a legal requirement when selling a property, it’s important to understand what it is and what it says about your property. The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that tells a potential buyer or tenant more about the performance of your home.
These documents were introduced in 2007 as part of the Government’s Home Improvement Packs (HIPS). While the rest of the HIPS were scrapped in 2010, the EPC remains.
EPCs are used in England and Wales. In Scotland the information is covered by the more in depth ‘Home Report’.
EPCs are valid for ten years, and must be present whenever a property is built, sold or rented out and all follow the same format.
The first thing you’ll notice on your EPC is the energy efficiency rating graph.
This shows the energy efficiency rating for a property out of 100, graded from A down to G. This is colour coded, from dark green for the most efficient properties in the A category down to dark red for the least efficient G rated homes.
Each graph shows two scores: the property’s current rating and the potential rating if it were to install eco features.
An EPC also spells out the estimated energy costs associated with the home. This takes into account the size of the home – so a large property with an A rating might well cost more to heat than a smaller home in a lower category.
The cost is broken down into lighting, heating and hot water and, as per the graph, shows one figure for the current condition of the house and another if energy efficient measures were to be installed.
You’ll also find that an EPC sets out the top three recommended measures that could be carried out to make the property more efficient.
The certificate should set out the cost of these measures and the projected savings they should provide over a three-year period. It will also demonstrate the total saving that could be provided by carrying out all of these recommendations.
It will also detail other measures that could be installed to improve efficiency.
The EPC also contains a table ranking your home’s existing features in terms of their energy efficiency. Each element – including the walls, roof, floor, windows and hot water – is scored on a star scale, ranging from one to five.
The rating refers to how efficient the feature is compared to other products on the market, and isn’t a judgement on the quality or installation of the element itself. Again, this aims to help you pinpoint which features could be improved to help boost the property’s green credentials.
A certificate will also include the date that the certificate was issued and the contact details for the person who issued it. This has to be an accredited domestic energy assessor and this will be the person to get in touch with should you have any queries or concerns about the information in the certificate.
The majority of properties require an EPC. However, there are some exceptions. They are:
The cost of an EPC varies. It can cost up to £120 or be £60 or lower. It’s worth shopping around to get a good deal.
As stated above, your EPC needs to be drawn up by an accredited domestic energy assessor. In order to find one near you, you can log on to a special site provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The site also holds the details of every EPC issued and you can search for these too.