Energy Performance Certificates

Since 14th December 2007 all homes marketed for sale require an Energy Performance Certificate.

Although an Estate Agent can market your house before the Energy Performance Certificate is received they must try to ensure that a certificate is available within 7 days of the property first being put on the market. Not having one when one is required can lead to a fine.

An EPC is required whenever a property is:

  • Built
  • Sold
  • Rented

There are “Exemptions” and these include:

  • Listed buildings – (advice should be sought from your local authority conservation officer if the character of the building were to be altered through work).
  • Places of worship
  • Temporary buildings, if they are to be used for less than 2 years.
  • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
  • Holiday accommodation if rented out for less than 4 months a year or let under a licence to occupy
  • Residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
  • Stand-alone buildings, total useful floor space not exceeding 50 sqm.
  • Buildings that are to be demolished* (*not all).

If you own a home you might consider getting an energy performance survey done anyway. It could help you identify ways to save money on your energy bills and improve the comfort of your home.

If you are contemplating selling this could prove beneficial by alerting you to ways in which the saleability of your home could be improved.

What Does An EPC Comprise of?

You will most likely come across EPC’s when viewing property on the internet or picking up sales particulars from estate agents. Commonly you will see just two parts of the EPC. Agents are obliged only to quote the Energy Efficiency rating banded A – G and to show just the corresponding traffic light coded, horizontal bar chart.

What a full EPC actually contains is actually significantly more than this!

Far from being just a multi-coloured bar chart the EPC is infact a four page document which contains information such as the following.

  • Information about a property’s energy use and also typical energy costs.
  • Recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

EPC’s are very similar to the stickers you see on new appliances for your home. They tell you how costly it will be to heat and light a property, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.

The EPC will also state what the Energy-Efficiency Rating (EER) could be if improvements are made. It highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating. Even if you rent your home, some improvements noted on the EPC may be worth implementing, such as switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs.

The EPC has a second bar chart which refers to the Environmental Impact Rating. (EIR) of the subject property. It is similarly rated to the Energy Efficiency Rating with bands from A-G. This time in shades of blue it relates to the current and potential Carbon Dioxide emissions of the property.

Where “G” is the worst rating with higher emissions and “A” is the best rating with the lowest emissions.

How Long is An EPC Valid For?

Currently legislature states that an EPC is valid for 10 years.

Can I Have Another EPC Prepared Within The 10 Year Period?

You are not obliged to do so, however you are at liberty to and indeed may wish to have a further EPC prepared within that time period. Such an instance may arise where a property has been significantly modernised/improved such that the energy efficiency of the house may be thought to have improved increasing in rating across a band, especially where it goes up a band with improved energy efficiency.

Who Can Produce An EPC.

In England, Wales & Northern Ireland EPC’s the surveys can only be carried out and the certificates prepared by a specially qualified Domestic Energy Assessor. (D.E.A.)

Where Can I Get An EPC From?

Good estate agents will be able to save you the time and hassle of sourcing a DEA by recommending one. One you can trust in your home and provide you with an EPC by a qualified D.E.A. At Kirkland & Lane we can obviously source the same for you.