Energy Performance Certificates

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

The UK Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a colour coded accreditation which grades a building in terms of energy efficiency. Made up of green, yellow, orange and red bars, the certificate rates a property from A (very efficient) to G (extremely inefficient), and is designed to inform a tenant or buyer regarding CO2 emissions, and heating and lighting costs.

 

Why do I need an EPC?

It is now a legal requirement that every building holds an EPC certificate – even if you rent a property. The EPC indicates the current energy efficiency rating as well as the possible rating after improvements are made. Most importantly, the EPC advises on ways to make the property more energy efficient and, therefore, more cost-effective such as using energy saving lightbulbs and equipment.

 

How do I apply for an EPC?

To make an application, you’ll need to pop your postcode into the EPC Register to find an EPC assessor in your local area. This is a legal requirement whether you’re buying, selling or renting a property. Depending on the assessor and the size and location of the property, an EPC certificate will cost between £60 and £120.

The certificate belongs to the property rather than the purchaser, and is valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

 

Are there any exemptions?

Although you will always need an EPC when selling or renting a property, you don’t need an EPC for a listed building, as most listed buildings cannot be upgraded. You also shouldn’t have to pay for an EPC if you are the buyer or renter, as this should be paid by the property owner.

 

What’s new for 2020?

From the 1st of April 2020, all landlord owned buildings must have a certificate rated ‘E’ or above, or face a fine of up to £4000. These guidelines came into effect in April 2018, but the deadline for this requirement is now the 1st April 2020. Further updates to the EPC guidelines are expected in 2023.