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What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

Kieran Witt, 19 September 2023

Estate agents

What’s this article about?

If you're putting your place up for sale, you'll need to make sure you have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place. Learn about them in this article.

If you're putting your place up for sale, you'll need to make sure you have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place.

Back in 2007, the government introduced EPC reports to encourage everyday people to make their homes more energy efficient as about 22% of the UK's carbon emissions come from our properties – things like heating, lighting, and using our household gadgets.

A home that's energy-efficient doesn't just help to reduce your carbon footprint – it can also save you money through cheaper bills.

So, when you're house hunting, be sure to check out the EPC. You’ll find it in the property description on the property portals, and you can ask the estate agent for a copy.

What's an EPC Report?

An EPC report is like a report card for your home's energy performance. An accredited energy assessor will visit the property to determine how much energy it needs for warmth and power.

What does an EPC assessment include?

During the check, they'll suss out places where heat might escape – think drafty spots. They'll check to see if your walls and floors are insulated, whether your windows are double or even triple-glazed, and how well your home holds onto heat. They'll also peek at your electrical systems and see if you're using energy-efficient light bulbs.

The energy rating is like the sticker on your fridge or washing machine – it goes from A (super efficient) to G (not so much). And there's a number that comes along with it. Higher numbers mean lower energy bills – cool, right?

Your EPC report will also provide a bunch of ideas to improve your homes energy rating. They'll even give you guidance on what to tackle first, so you can save the most energy. For example, think about insulating your place before you splash out on a new boiler.

How Long Does an EPC Last?

An EPC lasts for a whole decade, covering the property, no matter how many times it changes hands. Worth keeping in mind if you make upgrades like switching to energy-efficient lighting or insulating the property, these won't show up in the EPC until you get a new assessment.

How Can You Find Your Property's Energy Rating?

The government's got you covered with an EPC register. If your place has been assessed, you can hop online and check out your rating.

For people in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, you can find your EPC rating here.

For those in Scotland, you can find yours here.

How to get a new EPC certificate?

For everyone in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, you can find an EPC assessor here and in Scotland, you can find one here.

Now, the cost of an EPC varies depending on where you're located and how big your place is. Basically, it's based on how long the assessment takes, so bigger homes might mean a tad higher cost. On average, the Property Energy Professionals Association (PEPA) says you're looking at around £60 to £70 for an EPC, but keep in mind, these numbers might go up.

If you've got a brand new home, be ready to pay a bit more since the assessment is more detailed.

Who pays for an EPC?

If you're selling your home, it's your job to get the EPC and cover the cost. For all those fresh new houses, the builder's got to hand out an EPC when they're done building.

EPCs: They're the Law!

Yup, it's the law. If you're selling, renting, or building, you need an EPC. No valid EPC means you can't list the property with an estate agent. You must show that you've got the ball rolling on one.

How's Your Home's Energy Rating Stack Up?

On average Homes in England and Wales usually have a D energy rating, with an average score of 60.

Homes built after 2012 often tend to have a B EPC rating. Those constructed after 1983 hang around C, while the charming pre-1900 homes are usually around an E. Houses usually score a bit lower on EPCs compared to flats.