Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

03/11/2017
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), tells you how energy efficient a building is. It's essential to possess one if you're looking to sell a property - see the block below.

Recognisable by the multi-coloured diagram which always appears on it, it works according to a scale, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient.


The ratings make it much easier to compare the energy efficiency of one building with another, particularly of the same type, and helps potential buyers to get an idea what the fuel costs might be as part of their decision on whether to proceed or not. Read this article fully to find out about recent updates to EPC-related laws.

You have to have an Energy Performance Certificate if you are looking to offer a domestic or commercial building for sale or rent.

If you fail to do this, for a residential property you face a £200 penalty and this recurs monthly until you have an EPC in place. For commercial properties, finest start at £500 and rise up to £5,000 depending on the rateable value.

We have conveyancing solicitors who specialise in helping sellers during the sale of their property. It often helps to get your solicitor instructed before you find a buyer so you can get your paperwork in order before the process gets underway. Our quotes are competitively priced and we offer all our sellers a No Sale No Fee protection. Click if you're selling a property and want a conveyancing quote.

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What does an EPC contain?

The energy performance certificate includes:

  • Energy efficiency diagram;
  • Estimated energy use, carbon dioxide emissions, lighting, heating and hot water
  • Total floor area (m2)
  • recommendation report listing cost effective and other measures to improve the energy rating of the building (such as low and zero carbon generating systems); and
  • Efficiency rating if recommendations are implemented.

How much does an EPC cost?

Energy Performance Certificates costs varying depending on the:

  • location of the property (some locations there are fewer DEA's and as such the costs are more);
  • size of the property.

You should budget for between £60 and £120 INC VAT for an EPC and it is worth shopping around for different quotes as the competition for business can be high and you may find a DEA offering a cheaper deal.


Should you order your EPC through your estate agent?

Most high street and online estate agents include the EPC as part of their offering. Some charge an additional fee for organising this for you. If they charge a fee, then make sure to shop around as you can often find a cheaper price by going direct.


What changes can you make to improve your EPC rating?

The types of changes depend on the type of property you have however here are some recommendations that your Domestic Energy Assessor may make:

  • Internal or external wall insulation such as Cavity wall insulation;
  • Low energy lighting for all fixed outlets;
  • Hot water cylinder thermostat;
  • Replace boiler with Band A condensing boiler;
  • Replace single glazed windows with low-E double glazing;
  • Heating controls such as a room thermostat;
  • Solar water heating;
  • Solar photovoltaics panels, 25% of roof area;
  • Room-in-roof insulation;
  • Floor insulation (for a suspended floor);

Other Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get an EPC?

Click if you need find a local Domestic Energy Assessor to prepare an EPC.

How long does an EPC last?

The energy performance certificate lasts for 10 years from the date it is issued. After this date you will have to renew before you start advertising your property to sell it.

Where must the EPC appear in a property's sales particulars?

You have to attach the first page of the Energy Performance Certificate to the particulars of sale: it must be physically attached and not just a loose insert.

Do I need an EPC if I'm selling my house to a relative?

Yes. Under the current legislation, it doesn't matter who you are selling your property to, you will still need to provide an EPC (read more about how to sell property to family members).

Are there ANY exceptions where you don't need an EPC for selling a property?

Yes, listed buildings can be exempt among others. Click to view the Government's list of buildings which don't require an EPC

Can you view EPCs for other properties for comparison

Yes. You can look at the EPCs of other properties free of charge. This lets you compare your home’s energy performance with that of similar homes. You can search by the property’s address or by the EPCs report reference number.

If you have an EPC and want to opt out of the public register, visit the Department for Communities and Local Government's website.

Are EPCs a requirement for anything other than selling a property?

Yes - if you're looking to receive payments under the Feed-in Tariff scheme for solar panels.

Your property must have an EPC rated 'D' or higher to be eligible for Feed-in Tariff payments at the standard rate.

Changes from 1 April 2018

From 1 April 2018, the minimum energy efficiency standard for domestic buildings will be set at an 'E' EPC rating and will be based on fuel costs rather than Carbon Dioxide omissions.


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