An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that provides a record of the energy efficiency or performance rating of a residential building. It also provides recommendations on how to reduce energy use and save money. All properties are assessed by an accredited energy assessor and then given a grading of A-G based on the data collected. The most energy efficient homes will be in band A and will have the lowest fuel costs.
Do you need an EPC to rent a property?
The requirement for an EPC has been the law since 2008, meaning that if your home has been let since then it should have one. As a general rule, you must obtain an EPC before you market your property to rent and have a copy of the certificate ready to show potential tenants. It is the responsibility of the landlord or owner of the building to obtain an EPC.
Changes came into force in April 2018, meaning that landlords are now required to achieve a minimum rating of ‘E’ on the EPC in order to rent their property. If the property is rated below an ‘E’ then the landlord must make the necessary energy-saving improvements and a new EPC will be required to prove that the property meets the minimum requirements. Landlords now face a penalty fine of up to £4,000 if they fail to meet the minimum efficiency requirement, unless there is an accepted exemption.
The information provided on an EPC is also useful for tenants looking for ways to improve their energy efficiency. Since April 2016, tenants can now seek permission from their landlord to make energy-saving improvements on their privately rented property.
When don’t you need an EPC?
By law, all domestic and commercial buildings in the UK available to buy or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Most properties in the UK are graded as D or E. However, there are a few exceptions to the general rules outlined above. You will not require an EPC if you can demonstrate that the building is exempt, this includes:
- Listed buildings that cannot have upgrades like double glazing
- Buildings used as places of worship and for religious activities
- Temporary buildings that will be used for 2 years or less
- Detached buildings with less than 50 square metres total floor space
- Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that use limited energy
- 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
- Residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
Unless your property is exempt, you will need to appoint an accredited energy performance assessor to review your property’s energy performance and produce an EPC before you market your property to rent. It is always the responsibility of the landlord or owner of the building to obtain an EPC. If your property has a rating of F or G then the properties energy efficiency will need to be improved to meet the minimum ‘E’ rating, before granting a new tenancy. Once upgraded a new EPC will be required to verify the property now meets the minimum requirements.
How long does it take to get an EPC certificate?
If you require an EPC then we can usually arrange for one of our assessors to visit your property within 48-72 hours.
Example of an EPC Certificate
How long does an EPC assessment take?
Domestic assessments take on average between 30-40 minutes. Commercial assessments usually take a minimum of 45 minutes, but can take longer depending on the size and nature of the property. You can ask the assessor how long they expect to be as the time can vary between properties.
The assessment only requires a visual inspection. The assessor will require access to all rooms, including the loft. They will also need to inspect heating systems and insulation, take measurements, and also take photographs of the key data included in the visual survey. These photographs are just for the assessment and won’t be available to the public. They then use this data to produce their report.
A copy of the EPC is lodged on a national register and this can be accessed via the EPC search facility. It will be publicly available and some of the underlying data may be shared with others for the monitoring and compliance of the EPB regulations. The Government may use some of this data for research or statistical purposes.
When will I receive my certificate?
You will receive your certificate once payment has been received. There are no up-front payments before the survey, but the EPC will only be issued once we have received your payment.
How long is an EPC certificate valid for?
Each EPC is valid for 10 years and can be used multiple times during that period. However, if you’ve made any energy-saving improvements to your home during that time, and you’re planning to let or sell it, then it’s worth applying for a new assessment to improve your home’s rating. A higher rating will appear more attractive to potential buyers when you’re selling in a competitive market and give you an advantage over similar properties in the area.
An EPC is also a great way to check up on your home’s energy efficient and find out ways to improve it. You can then carry out these energy-saving suggestions to make your home cheaper to run. For instance, replacing all of your old windows with double glazing could save you around £135 every year.
EPC For You provide an award winning EPC service for all commercial and residential properties in London, Glasgow, and throughout the UK. We can help you get an accredited EPC survey from one of our professional energy assessors for the most competitive prices available in the market. Contact us today and we would be happy to provide you with a quick free quote.