A Guide To The EPC
What is an EPC?
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a report that provides information on
how energy-efficient your home is. Homes are rated from A-G, with A being the
most energy-efficient, and G being the least energy-efficient. When considering
selling your home, or letting it out, it is essential that you have a valid EPC before
How long is an EPC valid for?
EPCs are valid for ten years in England and Wales. It can also be beneficial to
update your EPC even if it is current.
Why should you consider updating a valid EPC?
A high-rating EPC is a useful selling tool. If your property has little to no insulation
and single-glazed windows, maybe an old boiler, or the home is heated with coal or
oil, it is likely to be close to a G rating. This would indicate to any potential buyers
that the property would likely be energy-inefficient and expensive to run.
A rating of A is given to highly energy-efficient homes. They will be well-insulated
and equipped with self-generating electricity, via solar panels or wind turbines for
example. Hot water obtained via these channels will help, and woodburners or
alternative biomass heating capabilites will also boost the rating. The more energy-
efficient the property, the cheaper it will be to run.
If you have made improvements which have substantially reduced your energy
consumption, such as improved insulation, new windows or a new heating system,
then it is worth considering getting a new EPC to reflect the changes. The higher
the rating, the more attractive the property is to buyers.
Should I get a new EPC if I own a rental property?
As of April 2018, any property intended to be let out to new tenants is required to
have an EPC with a rating of E or higher, by law. From 1 April 2020, the E rating
also affects residential properties with existing tenants and continual leases.
Failure to comply with these Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) could
lead to a fine of up to £5000. For commercial buildings, the deadline is 1st April
Fortunately, an E rating should be fairly easy to achieve by ensuring the property is
equipped with any of the following:
600mm of insulation
Combi-boiler and gas central heating
There are less drastic ways to improve your energy efficiency, such as the
installation of low-energy lighting. Small improvements combined may boost your
rating by enough points to obtain the E.
An EPC will tell you exactly which areas of the property are energy-inefficient, and
it will also supply estimated costs for work that is recommended. For instance, if it
recommends different insulation, or low energy lighting, you will also receive an
estimation of how much it would cost to make the changes.
Once the energy-efficiency in your property has been sufficiently improved, you
will need to apply for a new EPC. Once the documentation is attained, you may let
What if I can't afford improvements?
There are some government schemes which offer grants to make homes more
energy-efficient, so it is worth checking if you qualify for those. These are
especially useful for awkward improvements such as insulating dormer windows.
You WILL need an EPC:
If you are buying, selling, or letting out a house, flat or another residential
If you take your property off of the market for four weeks or more and the
If your current EPC has expired.
You MAY need an EPC:
If you have a listed home. Some listed properties do not need EPCs but the rules
are very complex. It is safer to assume the property requires an EPC even if it is
You will PROBABLY need a commercial EPC:
If you are selling, letting out or constructing a commercial property. If the building
has separate accommodation it may also require a domestic EPC. Some commercial
properties are exempt (eg. industrial sites, workshops or non-residential
agricultural buildings if they have low energy-consumption).
You are UNLIKELY to need an EPC:
If the property is used for religious purposes, such as a place of worship.
You WON'T need an EPC:
For a park home (as long as it can be moved without significant
If you are selling land.
If you are letting out a room in your home and the lodger shares facilities.
If you are selling or letting a detached building with less than 50m² of floor
If the property is being demolished by the seller or landlord (subject to the
relevant documentation and planning consent).
For more advice on anything property related, call Anthony on 07369 269627 today!