Who needs to get an EPC?
The purpose of an EPC is to provide information on a property’s energy use and typical energy costs, and to make recommendations about how to reduce energy usage and increase efficiency.
It is the responsibility of the property seller or landlord to arrange an EPC to show to prospective buyers or tenants. EPCs have been required by law since 2008 (2009 in Scotland). They are valid for 10 years. If the seller or landlord does not have an EPC, they can be fined £200.
There are a number of exemptions to the requirement to have an EPC. For example, a rented room within a house does not need an EPC, although a self-contained flat within a larger house that has its own front door and facilities will need one. Listed buildings are often exempt from the EPC requirement if they can’t be modified to make them more energy efficient.
It is possible to view EPCs for any property that has one (unless the owner has opted-out) at the national EPC register.
If you own a commercial property, you also need to have an EPC if any of the following applies to you:
- You rent out or sell your premises.
- A building under construction is completed.
- Changes are made to the parts of the building for separate occupation, involving any changes or additions to heating, air and ventilation systems.
To find out more about getting a commercial EPC, check out our Energy Performance Certificate for Business page.
Do I need to buy an EPC when buying or renting a property?
You should never be charged for an EPC when you’re looking to buy or rent, it should be handed over free of charge by the seller or landlord.
If you’re a landlord or seller, you’ll need to at least get this certificate ordered before you put the property on the market (you may be able to use the EPC given to you when you bought the property if it’s still valid).
If you own a commercial property that you want to sell or lease, you’ll also need to get an EPC organised.
If you’re interested in the energy performance of your home, , there is nothing stopping you from getting one commissioned for your personal use – but you will have to pay for it.
Who can carry out an EPC?
An accredited domestic energy assessor will need to issue you with your EPC.
You might be offered the services of one via an estate agent or letting agent, but you can find your own if you prefer or want to compare prices. You can also visit the EPC Register to search for accredited assessors serving your area.
How much does an EPC cost?
There’s no fixed fee for an EPC, it depends on a number of factors including what kind of property you live in and how many bedrooms it has. The area you live in can also affect the price considerably.
EPC prices typically start at £35, but a certificate for a large house in an expensive city could easily cost several times that.
What information is displayed on an EPC?
An EPC is a relatively straightforward certificate. It will look a bit like the multi-coloured sticker that you get on new household appliances.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s included:
Energy efficiency rating
A section of your EPC will be dedicated to how energy efficient your property is. It’s graded from A to G, with A meaning an energy efficient, well-insulated, probably modern home, and G meaning a draughty old building where the wind rattles the walls.
Typically, you’ll find an older property with no retrofitted energy-saving technology will be around a D grade.
Landlords are required to achieve a minimum of an E grade. Unless there is an accepted exemption, landlords face a penalty of up to £4,000 for failure to meet the minimum efficiency requirement
Estimated costs of running your home
Your EPC will give an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power your home. Details are also listed on potential savings that could be made should you improve the energy efficiency of your household running costs.
Summary of energy performance related features
This section of the EPC will give you an indication of how energy efficient different aspects of your home are. It can act as a useful guide to help you work out which areas to focus on first when improving your home’s efficiency.
What if I have a question about my EPC?
If you don’t understand something on your certificate or you disagree with it, the first place to go is the energy assessor that carried out the EPC – their details should be available in the ‘About this document’ section.
But if they can’t resolve your issue, you can contact their accreditation scheme, and the details will also be listed in the same section of the certificate.