Energy Performance Certificates: Your Questions Answered

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) indicate how energy efficient a building is and recommend specific ways to improve its efficiency. It is a legal requirement to obtain an EPC every time a property is bought, sold or rented. In this article, we will answer some of the common questions that arise around EPC’s.

What is a ‘Domestic’ EPC?

A domestic EPC is an EPC that is issued for a property that is a residential building. A building is officially classified as ‘domestic’ when there is only one family living in it. This is regardless of whether they live there in permanent or semi-permanent residency.

What is a ‘Commercial’ EPC?

A commercial EPC is an EPC that is issued for a non-dwelling building. For a building to fall within this requirement it must have a roof and walls and use energy to condition the indoor climate.  Examples of commercial buildings include offices, warehouses, hotels, or buildings used for retail purposes.

What Does My EPC’s Energy Rating Mean?

After conducting an Energy Performance Certificate assessment, you will receive an energy efficiency rating. This rating tells you how energy efficient your house is by rating it from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). This rating system is the same one used for other domestic appliances.

You will receive a current energy rating as well as a potential energy rating on your EPC. The potential rating shows how efficient your property could be if the recommendations are undertaken. According to OFGEM, the average energy rating for a home in England and Wales is band D with a 60 rating.

What Contributes to my EPC Rating?

The energy rating of a property is complex and is based on a calculation of a number of contributing factors. One of these factors takes into consideration the size and type of construction of the building. This will look at walls, roofs, floors, and window glazing.

Your EPC assessor with also look at how each area of the building is used (and for what purpose), alongside the occupancy profile for each zone. It will look at cooling, ventilation, hot water systems, and the buildings lighting.

What Happens if I Get a Low EPC Rating?

A Low EPC rating indicates that a property could be more energy efficient. During the assessment, various ways to improve the property’s energy efficiency will be identified. Implementing the recommended changes could not only increase your rating and reduce your carbon emissions but also save you money on energy costs. Whether you implement the recommendations or not is up to you; there is no legal duty for you to do so.

Who is Responsible for Obtaining an EPC?

A building’s owner or prospective landlord is responsible for obtaining an EPC. Obtaining an EPC can be commissioned by yourself or it may be commissioned on your behalf by an estate agent. EPCs can only be produced by an accredited energy assessor. These energy assessors may be self-employed or part of service organisations such as estate agents, conveyancers, or energy companies.

How to Obtain an EPC?

Once you (or an agent) have commissioned an EPC assessment, your energy assessor will receive your basic details and will then arrange to come to your property to do the assessment. Once the assessment is completed, the EPC will be registered by the energy assessor and you will receive a copy of it. You will also be able to download further copies directly from the register.

To Whom Must I Give or Show My EPC?

When you put your property on the market for sale or rent, your agent will need the EPC report. The are legally required to include this report on any commercial media related to the property. This includes brochures, newspaper advertisements, and property websites. They do not need too to include it on a ‘for sale’ or ‘for let’ board or sign.

When a potential buyer or tenant makes an enquiry or views a property, they must be shown the EPC and recommendation report. When a building is either sold or rented, a copy of the EPC must be given to the buyer or tenant. If an EPC and the accompanying recommendation report have not been made available to you from the owner, the landlord or the builder, you are entitled to contact the relevant enforcement authority who will pursue the matter on your behalf.

What are the Costs and Time Involved in Obtaining an EPC?

The cost of an energy performance certificate is purely determined by the market. Costs will vary according to the size, type, and location of the property. The time taken will also be dependent on the size and type of property. It has been estimated by The Department of Finance that an average 3 bedroom semi-detached house would take just under two hours to complete.

We hope this article has provided some clarity on EPC’s and all their intricacies and requirements!