What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provides potential buyers and tenants with an indication of the energy efficiency of a property. The certificate will contain information about the property’s typical energy costs and will recommend ways to reduce energy use to make the property more energy efficient.
First introduced in 2007 as part of the now-abolished Home Information Pack, an energy performance rating is necessary for properties being sold or rented in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In 2012 EPCs were updated and simplified to support the Green Deal, making up part of its assessment. The Green Deal was introduced to help homeowners make energy-saving improvements to their property. The EPC is valid for ten years and the survey of the property will usually take between 45 minutes and an hour.
Energy Performance Certificates are regulated by the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulation 2012 and the survey is conducted by Domestic Energy Assessors.
The EPC turned 10 years old in August 2017, meaning that homeowners thinking of selling their homes should check their energy performance rating is still valid, as they will not be able to sell their home without one.
From April 2018, the regulations surrounding the Energy Performance Certificate are changing. Changes will affect both the commercial EPCs and residential EPCs within the private rented sector and will mean that the minimum energy efficiency standard for non-domestic buildings will be set at an ‘E’ EPC rating.
The new EPC regulations were introduced from 1st April 2018 that require all eligible properties to be improved to a minimum standard. It is unlawful to rent a property that does not meet the minimum energy efficiency standard (unless there is an exemption) and a penalty of up to £4,000 may be imposed for breaches.
How much does an EPC Cost?
EPC costs range from £35.00-£120.00+VAT - there is no fixed cost so it is worth comparing prices from multiple companies. To get the best EPC cost, make sure you get the assessment completed directly rather than through an estate agent.
The price of your energy performance certificate will also depend on several factors regarding your property, such as the type of property you own and how many bedrooms it has. The location of your property and the area you live in can also affect the EPC cost.
What will it tell me?
Energy Performance Certificates rate a home’s energy efficiency and environmental impact using a scale from A-G, with ‘A’ rated homes being the most efficient. It also provides suggestions on how to improve the rating which, in turn, will reduce the effects on the environment by cutting carbon emissions and save homeowners money on their fuel bills.
The certificate will contain details of the property, such as its location, age, size and condition, and these factors will be considered to provide energy saving recommendations that are tailored to the property. The average UK property falls into the D or E band.
How do I get an EPC?
The Energy Performance Certificate is produced by Domestic Energy Assessors. To find the best price for your EPC, you can get a quote from an accredited and DBS checked Domestic Energy Assessor.
Even if you are not planning to sell your property, an Energy Performance Certificate can give you an indication of the energy efficiency of your home and identify how it can be improved to save you money on your fuel bills.
Do I need an EPC?
An EPC is required for buildings that are to be sold, rented or built in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The EPC must be commissioned before the property is put on the market and it must be available to be shown to prospective buyers or tenants if requested. Bear in mind that those given 10 years ago will now need to be updated.
If you cannot produce an EPC at the time required, you could receive a fine.
There are, however, buildings that do not require an EPC, including:
Places of worship
Holiday accommodation and residential buildings used less than 4 months a year
Industrial sites and workshops
Buildings that are to be demolished
Buildings intended to be used for less than 2 years
Stand-alone buildings with less than 50 square metres of useful floor space.
Since January 2013, listed buildings are now also exempt from requiring an EPC, as significant alterations to the character and appearance of the buildings would have to occur to ensure compliance with the energy efficiency requirements.
Reducing environmental impact of homes
Our homes already account for 27% of the UK’s carbon emissions contributing to global climate change. The Energy Performance Certificate is designed to help homeowners reduce the environmental impact of their homes. The Energy Savings Trust estimates that following the recommendations in an Energy Performance Certificate, an average of £300 a year can be saved in fuel bills.
Only qualified and certificated Domestic Energy Assessors are allowed to prepare Energy Performance Certificates. For more information on Energy Performance Certificates and to help you to understand the requirements, visit the Government website on EPCs.
For information on the requirements of properties being sold or rented in Scotland, read about Scottish Home Reports
Last reviewed March 2022