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Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

Energy Performance Certificate

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are documents that evaluate the energy efficiency of a property. This efficiency is measured by a grading system from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.

An EPC will contain information about your property’s energy use, as well as typical energy costs.

It will also have recommendations about what you can do to reduce your energy usage at the property and how to increase its rating while saving money.

What types of improvements can I make to my property to increase its efficiency rating?

Improving your property’s EPC rating can be done in a variety of ways, including:

  • Getting wall and roof insulation
  • Using energy-efficient lighting throughout the property
  • Replacing your boiler
  • Getting double-glazing
  • Installing energy-efficient appliances in the home

Is any financial assistance available to help bring up my property’s EPC rating?

Yes. There are two grants currently open from the government to help improve a home”s EPC rating: The ECO+ Scheme, and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

Who is required to have an Energy Performance Certificate?

Since 2008, anyone building, buying, or letting out a property is legally obligated to have an EPC.

It is the responsibility of the landlord or property owner to obtain an EPC. If you are selling or letting out your property, you must have a copy of the certificate to show potential tenants and buyers.

In Scotland, the EPC must be displayed somewhere on the property, for example in the meter cupboard.

How long is an EPC valid for?

An EPC is valid for 10 years from when the date of issue.

Do I need to have a minimum energy efficiency if I am renting out my property?

Yes. Since April 2018, it has been a legal requirement that every rental property have an energy efficiency rating of at least ‘E’.

The UK government had also intended to impose an increase on this rating from an ‘E’ to a ‘C’ for all new private rental properties by 2025, and all PRS (Privately Rented Sector) properties by 2028.

However, after reviewing these green policies, it was announced in September 2023 by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that these targets would be scrapped for the foreseeable future.

What does this mean if I am a landlord?

Some landlords may view this decision as positive, as they are no longer required to invest in raising the minimum energy efficiency standards of their property, helping to free up capital in the short-term.

UK bank and lender Shawbrook conducted a poll of 1,000 landlords and found that 80% had already paid to bring their rental property up to code, to fall in line with the 2025 EPC regulation deadline.

However, although some landlords may ultimately see this as a waste of money, having a modern, energy efficient property could be seen by tenants as an attractive draw, as they will ultimately spend less on their energy bills.  

Do I need to have a minimum EPC rating in order to sell my property?

No, you don’t need to have a minimum EPC rating in order to sell your home.

However, it's worth bearing in mind that the higher an EPC rating you have, the more likely your property will be considered ‘desirable’ by potential buyers.

Reasons for this can include, a high EPC rating indicating your house is well insulated and up to date on repairs and equipped with modern features.

And, for someone purchasing a property to rent, they may be able to charge more as it will be assumed that energy bills for tenants will be lower.

What types of properties are exempt from having to obtain an EPC?

Although an EPC is usually a legal requirement when selling a property, some building types are exempt. These include: -

  • places of worship
  • temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
  • industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that do not use a lot of energy

    stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50 square metres
  • some buildings that are due to be demolished
  • holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
  • listed buildings (you should seek advice from your local authority conservation officer).
  • residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year

How can I get an Energy Performance Certificate?

You will need to find and go through an accredited assessor who will inspect your property and produce the certificate.

GOV.UK can help you find an accredited EPC assessor for England, Wales, or Norther Ireland.

To locate an EPC assessor in Scotland, the process will be carried out by the Energy Saving Trust.

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