• Anthony Coyle-Dowling

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

you proceed.


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

2023.


Fortunately, an E rating should be fairly easy to achieve by ensuring the property is

equipped with any of the following:

  • Wall insulation

  • Double glazing

  • 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

your property.


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.


Summary

You WILL need an EPC:

  • If you are buying, selling, or letting out a house, flat or another residential

  • property.

  • If you take your property off of the market for four weeks or more and the

  • EPC expires.

  • 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

listed.


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

  • modification).

  • 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

  • space.

  • 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!

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