Q&A: Energy Performance Certificates

News at Thorgills | 02/04/2019


What is an EPC?

EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate, and shows how energy-efficient a property is. A current and potential rating are provided for the property, out of 100, with 0 being the lowest and 100 the highest. An asset rating, lettered between A for the highest and G for the lowest, is also shown.

The EPC also shows a current and potential rating for the impact of the property on the environment. This Environmental Impact Rating is also scored out of 100, and comes with an associated A-G asset rating.

How is the EPC created?

To get the score, an energy assessment is conducted by a licenced professional, and a report is generated using government-approved software.

The assessor will take into account the property’s type and material, and the relevant fixtures and fittings – such as glazing, insulation and heating systems. They will not consider or comment on the overall condition of the property, building defects or anything which would be covered by a building survey.

Why is it important for me to get an EPC before I sell or let my property?

It is a legal requirement for properties being sold or let to have an EPC available for interested parties to view, so you must ensure you have one before putting your property on the market. If you are considering putting your property on the market, Thorgills can arrange an EPC for you.

EPCs are valid for ten years, so once you have commissioned one you won’t have to worry about it for a while. This is especially useful for landlords who may have several tenancies in this ten-year period.

Landlords should also be aware that it is now prohibited to let out properties with an F- or G-rated EPC. If your property has a rating this low, you’ll need to make improvements to its efficiency if you want to let it out.

How can I improve my property’s EPC rating?

The EPC report contains a number of recommendations which can help to improve the efficiency of your home. For example, you can use more energy-efficient appliances or light-bulbs for a cheap way of saving money on energy costs.

Larger changes, including cavity wall insulation and double glazing, can also be recommended. While these may be more expensive in the short term, they will can massively improve your efficiency and lower your energy costs, meaning they can actually end up saving you money.

The EPC report also shows an “indicative cost” of the improvements, and the expected savings over a three-year period, so that you can make an informed decision on whether to make the changes.

I’m looking to buy or rent. Do EPCs matter to me?

An EPC is important to prospective buyers and tenants because it can indicate how expensive it will be to pay the bills in their new home.

A property with a good energy rating will have lower energy bills than a property with a poor one, so you can use this indicator when making a decision about which property to go for.

 

This is part of our series of FAQs. You can read the others here: Applying for a Mortgage - Experian - Nil Deposit Scheme - Mortgages -
Property Tenure - Remortgaging - Stamp Duty