When you’re selling or letting your home, there are a host of documents you’ll need.
And one of the most important is the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
But what is an EPC certificate and how do you get one?
Let’s take a look…
What is an EPC certificate?
An EPC is essentially the document that outlines how energy efficient your property is.
The EPC rates your property from an A to G grade in terms of its energy efficiency and also provides an estimation of how much the property will cost to run.
Buildings in the UK are responsible for around 40% of the country’s carbon emissions, so EPCs were brought in to help reduce that figure.
Your property’s EPC rating is clearly shown on the certificate, as well as a projected rating and some guidelines and suggestions that can help achieve it.
Each area of your home is given a star rating, too, according to its energy efficiency, with heating and hot water systems, walls, floors and the roof all rated.
The projected cost to run your property is also outlined and broken down into sections, including heating, hot water and lighting.
How to get an EPC
Since 2007, it’s been a legal requirement to have a valid EPC when selling or renting out your home.
That means there’s a strong chance you’ll have one, but if you haven’t and you’re thinking of selling or letting your home, you’ll need to get one.
New legislation in 2018 now means that landlords are unable to rent out a property with an EPC rating below E and, from 2020, this law will apply to all tenancies and not just new ones.
There will almost certainly be a host of assessors available to look at your property and provide a valid EPC.
The best place to start is the EPC Register online where you can search for assessors by postcode.
How long does an EPC last?
EPCs are valid for 10 years, so if you’re selling or renting out your property and you have a valid one, you don’t need to do anything other than provide it to your buyer or tenant.
If you don’t have a valid EPC, you’ll need to arrange one before you can sell or let your property and if you do have one, but can’t find it, contact the EPC Register.
EPC certificates generally cost less than £50, but this can vary depending on the size of your property and its location.
As the assessment process is the same, don’t feel you’re getting more for your money by choosing a more expensive assessor – go for the cheapest option.
How to improve an EPC rating
For landlords, in particular, property EPC ratings are now more important than ever thanks to Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) that stipulate properties with a rating below E can’t be rented out legally.
But sellers, too, should be mindful of poor EPC ratings which can put off potential buyers.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things both landlords and sellers can do to improve their EPC rating.
Some of the following steps can make a big impact on your property’s rating, but as with anything, making changes will depend on your budget.
- Wall insulation improvements
- Cavity wall insulation
- Replacing thermostats
- Installing underfloor heating
- Replacing windows
- Insulating your loft
- Draught proofing
- Insulating pipes
For further information and advice, don't hesitate to contact your local Martin & Co branch.