When it comes to your domestic energy performance certificate (EPC), the amount of information can often be overwhelming. There are so many guides and FAQs available with conflicting information that finding out the important details can become a time-consuming process. That is why if you are looking to move elsewhere or have recently moved, EPC for You are here to help you understand your certificate with this straightforward guide.
What is a Domestic EPC?
A domestic EPC is a report and certificate granted to every residential property in the United Kingdom. It measures energy efficiency and is based on a grade scale of A to G, with A considered the most energy efficient and G for those properties that are extremely inefficient.
A domestic EPC involves a trained individual known as a domestic energy assessor visiting your property and carrying out a number of checks to determine just how energy efficient the property is. As well as containing the scale grade for the property, an EPC will also contain pages of information regarding the technical specifics of the property as well as ways in which the EPC can be improved, the importance of the EPC, information on the assessor themselves and details about the actual environmental impact of the property.
Who Requires a Domestic EPC?
It is now a legal requirement to have an EPC assessment performed whenever a building is being sold, rented or constructed. As soon as a property is put on the market, the EPC must be available to any potential buyers. This is to ensure that people searching on the property market are given transparent, up to date and informative details about the property’s energy efficiency. Failure to provide a valid EPC may result in a potential fine so it is absolutely essential that an updated check is carried out.
When you are given your EPC, you will see a number of recommendations for making the property more energy efficient. If you take the required steps to implement new efficiency measures, you may decide to have another EPC assessment carried out to prove the quality of improvements made.
What is Assessed within a Domestic EPC?
When you are having a domestic EPC assessment performed, the actual process itself will involve an assessor visiting your property to carry out a number of checks. Although the time for the assessment is largely determined by the size of the property, domestic EPCs tend to be less thorough than commercial EPCs and typically take around 45 minutes on average.
When the assessor visits your property, there are a number of assessments they will make. They will take measurements of the property to make a basic floor plan, take photographs of insulation, heating and other energy-related systems and make notes on the information required by the software used to produce the final EPC. Once the check itself has been carried out, the assessor will leave the property and put together the final EPC, which will usually then be sent back to you within 48 hours.
How to Improve your Domestic EPC rating
There are a number of ways in which you can improve your domestic EPC rating, generally without a lot of stress, time, or money. All domestic properties must achieve at least a grade E before being rented or sold, to meet legal requirements introduced in 2018 and therefore even the smallest ways of improving your EPC rating can be extremely helpful in some situations.
Possibly the easiest way to improve your EPC rating is by upgrading the light bulbs in your property. Light-emitting diodes, also known as LEDs, are becoming increasingly popular options for many domestic properties and are gradually phasing out the need for halogen or incandescent light bulbs. Making the switch will not only make your property more energy efficient but also can help save money in the long-term.
There are some more expensive ways to improve your EPC rating that require some initial investment to help save money in the long run. Insulating your walls and roof may seem like an arduous task but can be worth it in both the improvements for your EPC rating and the heat retention in your property. Similarly, upgrading to double glazed windows can also improve your EPC rating and keep the property warmer for longer.
In summary, every domestic property in the UK requires an EPC to be sold or rented out, a process which usually takes around 30 to 40 minutes and involves a qualified assessor visiting the property to take notes on a number of different features. It needn’t be a terrifying thought and instead should be looked at as an easy way to help ensure you are being more environmentally friendly.