If you are building, selling, or renting out a property in the UK, you need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), by law. However, this does not mean that an EPC is not worth having at other times. As a home owner, or a business owner, you can save time and money simply by investing in an EPC survey.
It’s not a complicated process, and you can learn all about how energy efficient your property is. At a time when energy costs are high, and protecting the environment is vital, this type of energy efficiency information is very useful.
What is an EPC survey?
In order for an EPC to be completed, a survey of a property needs to be carried out. These surveys are conducted by qualified energy efficiency surveyors. After the surveyor has inspected the property, they complete an EPC. The certificate includes a grade for the energy efficiency of the property. The grades which can be awarded run from A to G, with A being the highest.
The EPC also includes details of CO2 emissions and lists measures that could possibly improve the energy efficiency of the property.
How an EPC helps you to save money
The most obvious way in which an EPC helps you to save money is by indicating ways in which you can make your property more energy efficient. This may include measures such as lagging pipes and replacing old insulation.
The more energy efficient your property is, the less energy you use and the less money you have to spend on bills. Savings like this are important whether you are managing a business or domestic budget.
How an EPC helps you to save time
An EPC can alert you to the need for measures such as improving insulation in a property. Taking action to remedy this problem can save you from having to deal with issues that poor insulation can cause, such as an increase in damp. This does not just save you time, it also saves you having to meet additional repair costs.
Another important time saving factor, when it comes to having an EPC survey carried out, is that it can make a property easier to sell. You may be thinking there is no choice if you are selling a property; you must have a survey completed as you are legally obliged to have an EPC in place. This is not necessarily the case. EPCs are valid for ten years. This means that you could have a nine-year-old certificate for your property and still be able to sell.
However, it makes sense to have a new EPC survey carried out as this means that potential buyers can see that the information is up to date. This can help to increase buyer interest in the property and speed up the whole house sale process, saving a log of wasted time along the way. This is a welcome benefit when you just want to move and you are having to deal with the associated stress.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
You can see that an EPC survey can save both time and money. If you are renting out a property, it’s also worth noting that the Energy Efficiency Regulations of 2015 apply and the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are in place, as of April 2018. This means that anyone newly renting out a property in the UK must have an EPC in place which indicates that the property has a rating of E or higher. From 1 April 2020 (domestic properties) and 1 April 2023 (commercial properties) this will apply to all tenancies whether they are new or not.
The potential penalties for non-compliance are high. If the property has been rented out for less than three months, the penalty is equivalent to 10% of the rateable value of the property, with the minimum penalty being £5,000 and the maximum penalty being £50,000. For properties that have been rented out for more than three months, the penalty is 20% of the rateable value, with a minimum of £10,000 and a maximum of £150,000.
From a legal point of view there are times when an EPC survey is a necessity. However, it should not be thought of as an imposition. Having an EPC survey completed allows you to see how energy efficient your property is and can lead to significant savings of both time and money.