When you buy your home, you will be given an Energy Performance Certificate, which you can review before you view any potential properties. But how important is an EPC when buying a property? Should you avoid buying a property with a bad EPC rating? Let's look into this further...
What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate is a legal document that tells you how energy-efficient a property is and where improvements can be made.
Using a grading system, where A is the most energy efficient and G the least, it will be provided by the seller and help you get a clear and easy understanding of how much your new home will cost to run.
Related: EPC ratings explained
Can you buy a home without an EPC?
Selling a home with an EPC has been a legal requirement since 2008. However, if the property you are buying is listed, having an EPC is not a legal requirement.
How important is an EPC when buying a house?
Not only are EPCs legally required, they also give you a clear understanding of how energy-efficient your potential new property could be. This will help you to calculate how much your new home will cost to run and the costs of any improvements needed to reduce its energy usage.
Top tip: When trying to calculate the costs of your energy bills in your new home, it’s important to remember that EPC ratings do not consider the number of people living in the property.
Which parts of the property are assessed?
When an accredited assessor assesses a property, they consider the size of the property, the construction type, the levels of insulation and ventilation, and the heating system.
You will get a picture of the lighting fixtures and the type of light bulbs used by the current owner. LED, or CFL—compact fluorescent lighting—is highly efficient and not difficult to replace.
Inspections will involve looking in the loft, so you will know if the property you are viewing has good insulation or needs improvement.
The windows of a property play a big role in its energy efficiency. An assessor will determine whether your potential new home has triple, double, or single glazing.
If the boiler is a little older and less efficient than a newer heating system, this will also affect the energy efficiency rating of the property you are buying.
Should you buy a property with a bad EPC rating?
You should not necessarily be put off buying a property with a low EPC rating. After all, the changes you can make to improve the rating will only add value to your home in the long-run.
Making an offer on a property with a low EPC rating may even give you some negotiating power while examining the environmental impact of the property.
Will an EPC rating affect your mortgage application?
Not really, however, certain lenders may consider the EPC of a property when processing your mortgage.
A property with an extremely low EPC rating may influence a mortgage provider's decision due to its saleability and the high cost of improving it. While greener homes may be able to benefit from a more favourable interest rate, it’s impossible to fail an EPC assessment. The average EPC rating of a home in England and Wales is D.*
What should you do with an EPC when it’s time to sell
Your home’s EPC is valid for ten years. So, it’s best to keep it somewhere safe because if you want to sell in a few years, you will need it.
Are you interested in moving to a more energy-efficient home? Contact Martin & Co