Energy Performance Certificates Explained

In the UK, all commercial and domestic buildings available to buy or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). But what is an EPC? How do you get one? How is it calculated? We go through every possible question you could have about Energy Performance Certificates.

What is an EPC?

First introduced in August 2007 as part of the now-abolished Home Information Pack, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) summarise how energy efficient a building is and gives it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (very inefficient). EPCs estimate how costly the property will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be. An EPC will also state what the energy-efficiency rating could be if improvements are made and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve that better rating.

Initially, they were only for domestic buildings with four or more bedrooms, but this was extended to smaller properties too. The average energy efficiency rating for a property in England and Wales is band D.

Where do I get an EPC?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, only accredited Domestic Energy Assessors can produce valid EPCs:

How is an EPC rating calculated?

The EPC assessor visits the property and examines key items such as loft insulation, domestic boiler, hot water tank, radiators, windows for double glazing, and other features which affect how energy efficient the property is. These observations are inputted into a program which calculates the energy efficiency as a single number, allowing the property to be assigned to a particular band, as shown in the below image:

In the above example, the property’s energy performance rating of 69 means it falls into a C rating (69 to 80).

It’s worth bearing in mind that getting an EPC is entirely non-invasive. The software will make assumptions on the insulation properties of various elements of the property based on age and construction type. However, the assessor has the ability to override these assumptions if visual or written evidence is provided to support the presence of insulation which may have been subsequently installed. The EPC assessor’s survey should only take around 45 minutes to an hour.

Do I need an EPC?

Reasons to get an EPC could include:

However, there are a few types of properties which don’t need an EPC:

How much does an energy performance certificate cost?

Domestic EPC costs range from between £45 and £100, excluding VAT. There is no fixed cost so it is worth comparing prices from multiple companies to see who offers the best price.

The price of your energy performance certificate also depends on several factors regarding your property, such as the type of property you own, how many bedrooms it has, the location of the property and the area you live in.

Who pays for an energy performance certificate?

Generally, it will simply be the property’s owner who pays for the EPC. However, if you are getting a new EPC because you are putting your property on the sales or rental market with Love Your Postcode, we will pay for your EPC at no cost to you. Check with your estate or letting agent to see if they offer a similar service.

How long is an energy performance certificate valid for?

EPCs are valid for 10 years from when they are issued. If the property has been let or sold since January 2009, it should already have an EPC as the property will have needed an approved certificate to get let or go through its sale.

How do I improve my energy-efficiency rating?

How is a commercial EPC different from a domestic EPC?

There are a few fundamental differences in how a commercial EPC survey is carried out:

The main thing is to provide your commercial assessor with as much information as they require and make sure they have access to the whole property to insure an accurate assessment. The less information the assessor has, the more they will have to assume default values which will always be poor.

What does an energy performance certificate look like?

A residential EPC’s structure does vary slightly from certificate to certificate, but the general structure stays the same:

Download this EPC PDF at this link if you wish to see a full example.

Why is reducing the environmental impact of our homes so important?

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.

You cad download thir article in PDF format here: Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Book an appointment with one of our property experts. Call us on 0800 862 0870 or value your home today.

Energy Performance Certificates Explained
By David Price