Before a property can be placed on the market for lease or sale, the property owner is legally required to commission, register and provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This certification is a document that provides details about the energy efficiency of the property via a lettered grade of which A is the most energy efficient and G is the least. It also provides an estimation for the current running costs of the property, along with a projection for running costs and energy efficiency of the property if particular changes are made to premises. Although this legislation was introduced to reduce nationwide energy expenditure to meet EU agreements, an EPC can be beneficial to property owners and prospective buyers by providing them with the best methods to reduce their annual expenditure on energy.
In order to obtain an EPC, an accredited EPC assessor must be commissioned to conduct a survey of the property. During this survey, the assessor will inspect various aspects of the property including the insulation of the loft and walls, the performance of water tanks, boilers and radiators, glazing on windows, light fixtures and fixed appliances within the home. Using this information, the assessor with them calculate the energy efficiency. This is a quick process, and usually an efficiency grading can be provided the same day. The best efficiency grading that can be achieved is an A, while the worst is a G. In the full EPC report, the assessor will also provide recommendations for specific changes to the property than can be undertaken and how these changes will improve the efficiency grade.
Not only is this useful information to a property owner, but making this information public and improving on a bad efficiency grading is now a legal requirement. If a property owner obtains a grading of less than an E for their property, they are liable to fines of up to £4000 if they fail to improve the grading. In addition, if an EPC is not registered and provided while the property is on the market, the property owner is also liable to hefty fines.