Most people will only be familiar with energy ratings on items such as fridges, washing machines and other essentials household appliances. However, when a property is put up for sale or rent, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or energy efficiency rating is required before any viewings can be booked and is a great way to identify not only how energy efficient the building is, but how you can save money on your energy bills.

Who Needs an Energy Performance Certificate?

When a home is put up for a sale or a landlord is looking to put a property up for rent, an EPC needs to applied to the house before any prospective buyers or tenants can view the building. All new homes require an EPC and all future owners of the home will need to apply for one when they put it up for sale or decide to rent it out.

There are only a couple of exceptions, listed buildings may not need an EPC as they may not be able to be renovated or upgraded to include things like double glazing and also resident landlords advertising a room in a property are exempt.

Do I Need to Pay for an EPC If I’m Looking to Buy or Rent?

If you’re in the market and are looking to view a property to buy or rent, the seller or landlord should give you an Energy Performance Certificate free of charge for you to look at in advance. You should never be charged to look at an EPC of a property or the seller/landlord can be fined £200.

How Long Is an Energy Performance Certificate Valid For?

Every home will have or need an EPC as this has been required by law since 2008. Each EPC is valid for 10 years and will need to be reapplied for after it has expired to ensure it is kept up to date.

If you’re thinking of buying a property, you can check the property’s current Energy Performance Rating by visiting the national register of EPCs or check your current property’s previous certificates. It’s also a great tool to compare your home to other properties in the area to see how energy efficient your home is in comparison to similar sized buildings.

How Much Does an EPC Cost?

If you’re a seller or landlord you will need to apply for an EPC of your home before the property is placed on the market, or if your property already has one and is still in date, you may be able to use the existing one.

The average Energy Performance Certificate costs around £35, however this can vary and could cost up to £200, depending on a number of factors including the type of house you live in, the size, how many bedrooms it has or even the neighbourhood you live in. If you live in a city centre or live in a large house in an expensive area, the price can dramatically increase.

What’s Included on an EPC?

Energy Performance Certificates are very simple and easy to follow and detail the energy efficiency of your home and what changes can be made to improve it. Your home will be rated on a coloured chart similar to how other household appliances are, with a grade between A (very efficient) or G (not efficient). The higher the grade, the better the efficiency your home is and therefore the cheaper your energy bills are and the lower your score, the lower your home’s energy efficiency which in turn means the pricier your energy bills are.

An image of the energy performance rating chart that features on an energy performance certificate

It also explains why your home has received that grade and what aspects specifically have affected your grade.

For example, your home may have recently been fitted with a new boiler, has double-glazed windows fitted and has well-insulated walls which will give you a better grade, whereas if your home has only single pane windows, no heating and is very draughty then you will likely receive a low grade. For all modern new builds you can expect high energy efficient grades whereas older homes will have low grades, roughly around grade D.

An image of the performance of each check made on the energy performance certificate

It will also suggests ways you can improve the energy efficiency of your home and will detail what improvements should be made and how much you can expect to pay for them. You’ll also get a handy rundown of what you can expect to save each year with each home improvement. Once you’ve checked what needs to be improved, head to our trade services and get a local boiler engineer or builder to make the recommended improvements.

An image of the savings chart featured on the energy performance certificate

How Do I Get an EPC?

To either see your current Energy Performance Certificate or if you’re about to sell or rent your property and require a new one, simply visit the EPC Register. On here you’ll be able to find and book a registered domestic accessor in your area to come and inspect your house.