EPC certificate: what it is and how to get one
If you’re selling, renting out or building a property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll need to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). How much it costs depends on who you get it from, what type of property it is, where it is and more.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
The clue is in the name. It’s a certificate that tells you – or more importantly, your potential buyer or tenant – how energy-efficient your property is. It grades on a scale from A to G (where A is as good as it gets and G is abysmal).
The average home in the UK is a D or E. As of 1st April 2018, it’s illegal to rent out a property, commercial or residential, with an F or G. You could get slapped with a fine of up to £4,000 if you do.
The EPC also includes details about the property, like how old it is, how big it is and what condition it’s in. And it gives you a rough idea what your energy costs might be, plus suggestions on how to use less or save more energy. That might include putting in better insulation or getting a new boiler.
EPCs are valid for ten years (although obviously you’ll want to get a new one if you make any improvements). And they’re regulated by the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulation 2012.
How do you get one?
You need to get an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor to visit the property and do a survey. It usually takes them between 45 minutes and an hour.
How much does it cost?
It should cost £45 to £100 (plus VAT). There’s no fixed price, unfortunately. It depends who you use, as well as what type of property it is, how big it is, where it is and more.
You’ll soon be able to get quotes from accredited assessors on our website. Or you can get your estate agent to do it for you (but they’ll charge you extra for their troubles).
Are there any properties that don’t need an EPC?
There are some exceptions, yes. You don’t need one in Scotland. And you don’t need one for:
- listed buildings
- places of worship
- homes you use less than four months a year (like holiday homes)
- industrial sites and workshops
- buildings that are going to be demolished
- buildings you don’t plan to use for more than two years
- stand-alone buildings with less than 50 square metres of useful floor space.
Other reasons to get one
Even if you don’t need an EPC, there are good reasons to get one. The Energy Savings Trust reckons that most people could save an average of £300 a year on their fuel bills by getting an EPC and following the recommendations.
And aside from the savings, it’s the right thing to do. Our homes already account for 27% of the UK’s carbon emissions. So making your home more energy-efficient is one of the biggest things you can do to make a difference.
In a nutshell
If you’re selling or renting out a property in the UK, you need a valid EPC. It tells everyone how energy-efficient your property is. You’ll need to get an accredited assessor to survey the property. And the cost depends on who you use, how big the property is, where it is and more. Your EPC is valid for ten years, and will include suggestions on how to save energy.