What Is An EPC?

EPC ratingsSince 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. It is valid for 10 years and can be used multiple times.

It outlines:

  • The energy that the home uses
  • The cost of running the home
  • The measures that could improve the energy efficiency of the property and help save money


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 being bought, sold or rented out and all follow the same format.

Your EPC Rating

EPC chart

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.

Your Estimated Energy Costs

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.

Recommended Measures To Improve Energy Efficiency

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 and improve the home’s energy output.

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 on energy bills that could be provided by carrying out all of these recommendations.

It will also detail other measures that could be installed to improve efficiency.

Energy Performance Features

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 judgment 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.

Other Information

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.

Does Everyone Need An EPC?

The majority of properties require an EPC. However, there are some exceptions. They are:

  • Places of worship
  • Temporary buildings that will only be used for less than two years
  • Building with less than 50 square metres of floor space
  • Industrial sites, workshops and some agricultural buildings
  • Listed buildings
  • Properties used for less than four months a year (such as some holiday accommodation)
  • Listed buildings – you should get advice from your local authority conservation officer if the work would alter the building’s character.
  • Buildings that are set to be demolished

How Much Does An EPC Cost?

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.

How Do I Get An EPC Certificate?

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.


If you’re looking to sell or rent your house but you’re not sure how to estimate your energy bills, an EPC can be helpful for marketing your property. Get in touch with one of our estate agents, if you’re looking for a quick sale.