Currently, all homes that are either sold or rented in the UK are required to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) by law. The EPC issued for your house or commercial building will be valid for 10 years and the front page should be attached to any sales particulars that are produced.
For most people selling either a residential or commercial building, the legal requirement to obtain an EPC remains something of a mystery. Generally an EPC is viewed as an unnecessary bureaucratic overhead, rather than a useful energy report, that could help to reduce the water, heating and other fuel costs of a building and save money.
If you are considering selling privately, it is important that you obtain a valid EPC and that you comply with the latest legislation, when marketing your home.
Energy Performance Certificate explained
An EPC is a five page document that provides an overall energy rating, based on a standard format, for the water, heat and fuel efficiency of your home or commercial building. They are designed to look very similar to the standard EU label system you now see on all electrical appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, fridges and hot water systems.
The EPC contains a range of heat and fuel related efficiency statistics about your property, including carbon dioxide emissions, together with a recommendation on improvements that could be made to reduce your heating bills and other running costs.
Similar to the electrical appliance system, the rating scale is displayed in a colour coded format, with each colour allocated a letter running from A to G. With A (dark green) being the most efficient rating and G (red) being the least efficient. The average rating for most homes in the UK is grade D.
The EPC contains a number of different sections
Your efficiency rating and environmental impact (CO2) rating
The chart provides a snapshot of how well your house or commercial building performs in terms of its heating and fuel efficiency and carbon foot print, together with an estimate on how your overall rating could be improved, if the recommendations contained in the EPC were carried out.
Your estimated heat and other fuel costs and carbon dioxide emissions
The data provided allows potential buyers to compare the estimated heat and other fuel costs and carbon emissions of your home with an alternative property. The figures provided include both current estimated costs and the potential savings that could be achieved if the improvements to the systems contained in the EPC were actioned.
Suggested improvements and recommendations
This section suggests improvements that are designed reduce your fuel costs and save you money. There is no legal obligation to carry out any of the improvements recommended by the report. However, any changes would improve your overall rating and therefore make it more attractive to potential buyers.
Key related features
This section provides details of the key additional features that have an impact on your homes environmental rating such as the wall, roof and floor construction, insulation, windows, water and lighting.
This provides information on the person who carried out the assessment and who to contact for complaints.
How can I obtain an EPC?
By law an EPC can only be obtained from a qualified assessor, known as a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA), who is a member of a recognised accreditation body, licensed by the Government.
Once an EPC has been issued it will be allocated a unique reference number and stored on the National EPC Register. Potential purchasers are able to search the register and download a copy of your certificate.
There are a wide range of companies offering EPC assessments that can easily be found online and will provide an EPC for under £50. Alternatively visit the National EPC Register to find an accredited assessor.
If you are considering selling your home, EPC’s are now mandatory for all residential properties and must be made available to all potential buyers. For further information visit this Government Website.
To understand how an EPC survey is carried out, please view the following video:
We hope that you have found this EPC article helpful and informative.
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If you are considering moving, please also take the opportunity to view our four bedroom detached Property For Sale In Cambridgeshire.