Energy performance certificates (EPCs) give potential buyers an upfront look at how energy efficient your property is, how it can be improved and how much money this could save.
EPCs for homes were first introduced in 2007 as part of home information packs (Hips) for home sellers. Hips were scrapped in 2010, but if you're selling or letting your house or flat you're still legally required to have an EPC in place.
You must have at least commissioned the energy performance certificate when you put your home on the market. Location Location can arrange an EPC on your behalf.
EPCs were also introduced to the rental market in 2008. In most cases, landlords marketing their properties for rent must have an EPC available for prospective tenants to view or risk a fine.
What information does an EPC provide?
This document is valid for 10 years and shows how good – or bad – the energy efficiency of your property is. It grades the property’s energy efficiency from A to G, with A being the highest rating. If you have a brand new home it’s likely to have a high rating. If you have a older home it’s likely to be around D or E.
The energy performance certificate also lists ways to improve the rating - such as installing double glazing or loft, floor or wall insulation.
The theory is that the better the rating your property gets, the more attractive it should be to a tenant as it indicates lower energy bills.
Energy-saving advice on EPCs
To reflect the introduction of the Green Deal, EPCs have been updated to make it much clearer to consumers how much they might save from making greener home improvements. Features of the new certificate include the following.
- Potential costs of heating, lighting and hot water after home improvements made
- Total potential savings, and the potential energy performance rating you might receive after making improvements to your home.
- Recommended actions to take (such as increasing loft insulation and draught proofing).
- The potential cost of undertaking these improvements, and the typical saving over a three-year period.
- Whether or not the recommended actions are available under the Green Deal.