If you’re planning to let out or sell your property, you’ve probably heard of the EPC. You might also be wondering what it is, how you get one and what’s in it.
What is an EPC?
Your EPC is your Energy Performance Certificate. EPCs were brought in back in 2007 and they show how energy efficient your property is and give an indication as to what the energy bill are likely to be.
What’s on your EPC
The main part of your EPC shows your property’s performance rating. A is the highest (most efficient) and G is the lowest. Your EPC will show your current rating and what you could achieve if you follow some recommendations.
The EPC also shows an estimate of the annual costs of heating and lighting the property, as well as heating your water.
Lastly, your EPC shows a breakdown of your property’s performance element by element, looking at walls, windows, the roof, the floor, the heating and the water system. Each element will get a star rating.
Is an EPC a legal requirement?
Having an EPC isn’t a legal requirement until you come to either sell or let out the property.
If you’re planning to sell, then your EPC needs to be performed and in place within seven days of going to market and if you sell a property without a valid EPC you could face a fine of up to £5,000.
If you’re planning to rent out your property then you’ll need a valid EPC in place within seven days of the property being listed as for rent. You’ll also need the EPC to have a rating of E or above in order to let it out legally.
Do I need an EPC every year?
Your EPC will last for ten years, but if you’ve made some improvements since your last assessment, it might be worth having a new one done.
Can I carry out my own assessment?
No, your EPC assessment must be carried out by a registered energy assessor. Your assessor will also issue your certificate and you can book your EPC through your estate agent or at the government’s own EPC Register.
How much does an EPC cost?
EPCs vary according to the size of your property and are generally between £40 and £120, depending on the size and location.
How long does the assessment take?
In most cases, an EPC assessment takes between 30 and 60 minutes and isn’t invasive in any way.
Your assessor will need to look in all the rooms, as well as in the loft (if you have one) and any extensions that you may have.
They’ll also look at:
- The age of the property
- The materials used to build it
- The thickness of your property’s walls
- The wall and loft insulation
- The heating systems and its controls
- The hot water cylinder and any insulation it may have
- Any other heating systems you may have
- The window frames and glass
- The construction of your floors
- All your lighting.
Can I improve my EPC rating?
There’s lots you can do to bring up your rating and it’s important to do this whether you’re a landlord or a vendor as many buyers and tenants will be put off by a low EPC.
Steps to improve your EPC could include:
- Replacing your heating thermostats
- Adding wall and/or loft insulation
- Replacing single-glazed or leaky windows
- Installing underfloor heating
- Using high-performance doors
- Adding draught proofing
- Insulating water pipes.