What is EPC and how much does it cost?
Ever thought about buying a property and not taking the utility bill serious enough to understand that over a 5 year period you could have actually saved enough for a Caribbean cruise, I mean we’re talking about £700 a year in savings.
With new regulations in place (for a while) an Energy Performance Certificate is added comfort to your worries about your energy bills.
An Energy Performance Certificate (gov.uk) is the guide that potential buyers or tenants receive when they look at properties. It would show how efficiently a home uses energy, the cost of running a home and also recommendations of improving the energy efficiency of the property.
After all, with costs going up as populations increase, we’re not paying the same for our gas and electricity as we did a good 10 years ago. In fact we’re paying much more. So, as we have colder snaps in recent years, at the press of a button we enjoy our warmth till we leave the house in the morning and with smart heaters, we switch them on.
But with a properly issued EPC, we can save thousands when buying and have more interest when selling.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are needed whenever a property is:
You must always order an EPC for would be buyers and tenants before you market your property to sell or rent.
However In Scotland, you need to display the EPC somewhere in the property, the meter cupboard or next to the boiler is best.
What is in an EPC?
An EPC contains the following two key points:
- Information about the property’s energy use and the typical energy costs
- Recommendations on how to reduce energy use and save money
Together it has an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
There is a fine if you do not provide an EPC when you should, so it is something not to take likely as there is strict guidelines to preserving energy.
When should you get an EPC?
As a general rule, an Energy Performance Certificate is always required each time a home is going to be put up for sale or for rent. A newly constructed home will always have one, a landlord must show potential tenants, and a seller should provide one to show to potential buyers.
However there can be a few exceptions, whereby, an EPC is not needed for a room that is being rented out by a resident landlord and listed buildings can also be exempt as they are protect from having upgrades like double glazing.
Since 2008 (2009 for Scotland) the requirement for an EPC has been a legal requirement, meaning that if your home has been let or sold since 2009 then it should have one, valid for 10 years.
There is national register of EPCs, (you can opt out), where you can view your property’s previous certificates (and similar properties in your neighbourhood to compare how energy efficient your home is).
How much does an EPC cost?
There is never a fixed fee for an EPC, it basically depends on quite a few important factors that would include:
- What kind of property you live in.
- How many bedrooms the property has.
- The area you live in can also affect the price.
EPC costs can typically start at £35, but for larger houses a certificate could easily cost several times more.
Information displayed on an EPC
An EPC is a straightforward certificate. It will resemble a bit like a multi-coloured sticker that comes with new household appliances.
Here’s a brief rundown of what’s included:
Energy Efficiency Rating
The main section of your EPC will be dedicated in explaining how energy efficient your property is. The grading is from A to G, with A meaning a very energy efficient, modern home that is also well-insulated, and the one we all want to avoid: G meaning an old building full of draughts with rattling walls.
You will find that older properties with no retrofitted energy-saving technology will be around the D grading.
There will also be a number from 1 – 100, where a higher number states that the property is more efficient and has less fuel costs making your Caribbean holiday more realistic.
Running Energy Costs:
Your EPC will provide a much needed indication of how much it will cost to heat and power your property. With details listed on the potential savings that could be made if you improve the energy efficiency of your household running costs, and as previously stated that is thousands of pounds of the course of a 3-5 years.
Energy Performance Summary
In this section of the EPC you will know how energy efficient different aspects of your home can be. This can be a very useful and important guide to assist and help you work out which areas of your home you need to focus on first when improving your home’s efficiency rating.
New Minimum requirements for EPC.
From April 2018, all landlords are required to have an E grading on the EPC for their rental property. Unless there is an accepted exemption, landlords will face a penalty of up to £4,000 should they fail to meet the new minimum efficiency requirement.
Who can carry out an EPC?
As it’s something you cannot carry out yourself, only an accredited domestic energy assessor is authorised to issue you with your EPC. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, only accredited Domestic Energy Assessors can produce valid EPCs.
You will always be offered the service by estate or letting agent, if you prefer to find your own and even compare prices. Do visit the EPC Register for recommendations.