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Energy Performance Certificate Guide

Last updated: 24. 01. 2020

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Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) can be a useful tool in helping you find the best energy deals for your property and ensuring it’s better for the environment. This guide provides essential information about EPCs, how to get one and what to do once you have one. 

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

An EPC is a requirement whenever a property is built, sold or rented. However, you can get an EPC certificate even if you are not selling your property. It tells you how energy-efficient your property is.

An assessor visits the property and examines items such as loft insulation, radiators and windows for double glazing. Following this, they input the observations into a software programme which performs the calculation of energy efficiency. 

It gives a home an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). It indicates how much it will cost to light and heat the property, how much will be spent on hot water, and how much CO2 the property emits. This demonstrates how attractive the property is from an energy perspective for potential buyers. 

What will an EPC tell me about my home?

An EPC includes details about a property’s energy usage and typical energy costs, and recommendations on how to reduce your energy usage and save money based on this information. For example, adding insulation or switching to energy-saving light bulbs. It also has estimated costs for implementing these changes and the savings you could make. 

It also tells you about your home’s energy performance. If you are looking to buy or rent a new property, it also informs you of how much energy your new home will use. It provides the estimated energy costs of lighting, heating and hot water in the home. Lastly, it provides an energy efficiency rating and an environmental impact rating.

Why should I get an EPC?

An EPC is beneficial for discovering ways to save money on energy by comparing your current use to the recommendations, as well as ways to make your property more environmentally friendly. It is clear in giving suggestions for both these factors and the costs of changes to be made. Although it costs to carry out the EPC, it can help you to save a lot of money overall. Also, if you sell your home one day, it will be more attractive to potential buyers if it has a high rating. 

How do I get an EPC?

To get an EPC, you must find an accredited assessor to assess the property and produce the certificate. You can find one here for England, Wales and Northern Ireland: https://www.epcregister.com/searchAssessor.html and here for Scotland: https://www.scottishepcregister.org.uk/assessorsearch. You need to do this before you can sell. For buyers and tenants, you can obtain the EPC from the seller or landlord. 

The EPC register stores existing certificates – once a property has a certificate, it is placed on this register. Also, you can search through the EPC certificate ratings of other properties in your area for free, which can help you compare your property’s rating to others in the area.

How much does an EPC cost?

The cost is between £60 to £120 to get your home on the EPC register, depending on the size and location of your property. As prices vary, it is best to look around and compare energy quotes since there is no benefit in choosing a more expensive provider. Although you can do the assessment through an estate agent, it is cheaper to have it done directly by an assessor as mentioned above, ensuring that they are registered. 

How can I improve my EPC rating?

Your EPC will give you clear ways to improve your rating, providing indicative costs. Typical recommendations include insulation for your roof, floor, loft or walls, double glazing windows, solar panels, and low-energy lighting. If your boiler is over 15 years old, consider replacing it with a new A-rated condensing boiler, and put an insulating jacket on your hot water tank. If you are unsure about the results, the surveyor should be happy to talk through them with you. 
Michael Quinn

Author: Michael Quinn

Michael is a dedicated author helping usave to write guides, blogs and news for the last four years. When not writing articles, you can usually find him at wine tasting events or having a political debate on the night tube.

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