An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is an asset rating in the UK that tells you how energy efficient your property currently is and what sort of impact it has on the environment as a result.
Put simply, its a review of your homes energy credentials – they are mainly used by buyers to see how much bills will be and how they could save money on bills in the future by doing potential improvements identified in the report.
EPC’s in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are carried out by Domestic Energy Assessors and in Scotland by gov’t approved organisations. The EPC will be graded A to G with A being the best, this is the same rating as any electrical device in the home and is familiar to most people.
EPC depends on energy consumed by the home, and level of carbon dioxide emissions over the year. Once issues an EPC will be valid for a 10 year period, though you can have it reviewed if you make improvements to your home, or change your home structurally (for example an extension – you may also want to have it reviewed a few months after you have a new boiler if this is the cause of a low rating EPC).
Anyone can access your EPC Online via this website. (this may come in handy if you are also looking for potential new homes)
But back to the question…
Do you need an EPC when selling your home?
In short, Yes.
Every home being sold, or rented needs an EPC.
The government believes that EPCs allows consumers a much easier way to compare properties than simply believing what they may be told by a landlord for example – which could be totally made up if bills are high. EPCs also give landlords and those move a good reason (As well as those in a home staying) reason to increase the energy efficiency of a home, as it reduces the carbon footprint of a home and so reduces the climate effect, as well as energy bills.
Remember as we’ve said above, if you get a low score (C or below) make some improvements before you put your property on the market – then get your property regraded. The higher your EPC the higher your chances of selling quickly and for it’s maximum value.
EPC’s range in cost – anything from £55 to £150 (plus VAT), shop around and don’t just go with the one your agent recommends unless its already included in the fee – though be careful if you then have a second one as this may not be included.
What are the typical weak spots?
Typically, EPCs identify a few of the same weak spots during a visit. Getting these sown up can save you a lot of time, and if you’re planning years in advance (planning to down size in retirement perhaps) then this can be done over a few years. So what are those weak spots?
- Lack of / not enough insulation in the loft – stuff your loft with great quality insulation. not just a little.
- Lack of in-wall insulation.
- Lack of double glazing in all windows (just one window can let you down).
- Lack of modern (sub 5 years old) boiler with theromstat and thermostatic valves. Also place reflective foil behind radiators.