Lifestyle

How to Get an Energy Performance Certificate for Your UK Property

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) acts as an energy efficiency label for your UK property. It plays a crucial role in property transactions, informing potential buyers or tenants about the energy usage and running costs of your home. Legally mandated for selling or renting a property, an EPC provides a valuable snapshot of your home’s energy performance, graded from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

This guide simplifies the process of acquiring an EPC for your UK property. We’ll delve into when you need an EPC, how to find an accredited assessor, what to expect during the assessment, and the costs involved.

When Do You Need an EPC?

An EPC is mandatory in several situations:

  • Selling Your Property: You must have a valid EPC before marketing your property for sale.
  • Renting Your Property: Landlords require a valid EPC to advertise a rental property.
  • New Build or Renovation: If you’ve constructed a new property or significantly renovated an existing one, you’ll need a new EPC.

There are a few exceptions to the EPC requirement. Listed buildings, detached places of worship and temporary lets of less than 28 days typically don’t require an EPC. For a comprehensive list of exemptions, visit the government’s EPC webpage. And, if you need any kind of property survey for a building you are selling or renting in London or the surrounding area, then visit this page for impartial advice and a free, no-obligation quote.

Finding an Accredited Assessor

The key to obtaining a valid EPC lies in choosing a qualified professional. EPC assessors must be accredited by a government-approved scheme. Here’s how to find a suitable assessor:

  • Online Search: Utilise the EPC Register, a central database listing accredited assessors across the UK. You can search by postcode or location to find assessors in your area.
  • Recommendations: Estate agents or letting agents might have established relationships with accredited assessors and offer referrals.
  • Trade Associations: Consider contacting trade associations like the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) for recommendations.

What to Expect During the EPC Assessment

The EPC assessment is a non-intrusive process, typically taking under an hour. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

  • Pre-Assessment: The assessor will schedule a convenient time to visit your property and inquire about its construction, heating systems, insulation and any recent renovations.
  • Property Inspection: The assessor will visually inspect your property, focusing on key areas like the boiler, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and windows. They might take photographs for reference.
  • Data Collection: They’ll gather details on your property’s size, age and existing energy efficiency measures.
  • EPC Generation: Based on the collected data and property characteristics, the assessor will use specialised software to generate your EPC.

What the EPC Report Contains

A typical EPC report will include the following:

  • Energy Rating: The property’s energy efficiency rating is displayed as a letter grade from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
  • Estimated Running Costs: An estimate of how much it might cost to heat and power your property based on typical usage patterns.
  • Breakdown of Energy Use: A breakdown of how much energy is used for heating, hot water and lighting.
  • Recommendations for Improvement: The report might suggest improvements to boost your property’s energy efficiency and potentially achieve a higher EPC rating.

Costs Associated with an EPC

The cost of an EPC can vary depending on your location, the size and complexity of your property and the assessor’s fees. Generally, expect to pay between £60 and £120 for a typical residential property.

Validity of an EPC

An EPC typically remains valid for ten years from the date of issue. However, if you undertake significant renovations that improve your property’s energy performance and efficiency, it’s advisable to get a new EPC to reflect the upgrades and potentially attract more interest from buyers or tenants.

Benefits of Having an EPC

A good EPC rating offers several advantages:

  • Increased Marketability: A property with a high EPC rating is likely to attract more interest from potential buyers or tenants seeking energy-efficient homes with lower running costs.
  • Potential for Higher Rents: Landlords with properties boasting a strong EPC rating might command higher rents.
  • Reduced Energy Bills: The recommendations within your EPC can guide you towards improvements that lower your energy consumption and running costs.
  • Environmental Benefits: Improving your property’s energy efficiency contributes to a reduced carbon footprint.

By understanding the process of obtaining an EPC and its importance, you can ensure a smooth property transaction while potentially improving your home’s energy efficiency and environmental impact.