Why you need a Homeowner’s Energy Performance Certificate
If you’re selling your home, you need to ensure that you have an Energy Performance Certificate or an EPC. This is now a legal requirement in the UK.
What is an EPC and why do I need one?
An EPC or Energy Performance Certificate is a document, which contains two key pieces of information. Firstly, the energy usage of the home and the expected cost of fuelling the home, and secondly, changes that could be made to make the property more efficient and reduce energy costs. Every property will be given an energy efficiency rating on a scale that runs from A to G. A is the most efficient, while G is the lowest rating. An EPC is valid for a period of ten years.
You will need to obtain an EPC if you’re selling your home, you’re building a new home, or you plan to rent out a property. If you plan to buy or rent, it is the duty of the existing homeowner or the letting agent or landlord to show you the EPC.
If you plan to let your home out, it’s essential to be aware of new legislation, which bans properties with a rating of F or G. In order to rent your property, you must make changes to improve the rating to at least E before you start taking payments from tenants. Other things to look out for are explained in this article.
Why is an EPC important?
If you’re on the verge of putting a for sale sign up, and you’re looking to sell your home quickly, you’ll need an EPC. This is not just a legal requirement. It’s also a really useful and valuable document for prospective buyers. If you’re on the cusp of making an offer on a house, you probably don’t want to hear that the property has a very low rating, as this means that it will cost you a lot to keep warm. Just as a low rating can put buyers off, a high rating can be very appealing to buyers, especially those keen to keep energy bills down. You will need to have applied for an EPC by the time you put your home on the market.
How to get an Energy Performance Certificate
If you’re about to put your house up for sale, or you’ve decided to let it out and start looking for tenants, you’ll need to contact an accredited, approved assessor. You can arrange an appointment, and the assessor will visit the property, carry out the relevant tests and checks, and then produce your certificate. If the rating is very low, you may decide that you want to make changes before your house goes on the market. If you plan to rent the property out, and the rating is either F or G, you’ll need to make modifications to improve the rating before you find new tenants.
You can use the Internet to look for approved assessors. It’s also a good idea to ask your estate agent or colleagues, friends or family members for recommendations.
If you don’t have an EPC by a certain time, you may be liable to pay a fine.
How much does an EPC cost?
The cost of an EPC will vary according to the provider you choose and the size of the property in question. Larger properties cost more than smaller homes. It is worth comparing quotes to find a good deal. Estate agents will often offer to arrange your EPC assessment for you. It’s worth bearing in mind that there may be an additional fee for this service. Prices typically range from around £60 to £120.
Are there any exceptions?
There are certain buildings that don’t need an EPC. If you own a property on this list, you won’t need to provide an EPC before you sell or rent your property out:
- Temporary structures
- Religious buildings
- Holiday homes that are not rented out for more than 4 months per year
- Listed buildings
- Residential buildings that are occupied for less than 4 months per year
- Industrial and agricultural buildings
- Stand-alone structures (with floor space of less than 50 square metres)
How long is an EPC valid for?
If you’re selling your home, and you already have an EPC, you may not need to renew it. EPCs are valid for 10 years. Check the dates, and if your EPC has expired, contact a local assessor and arrange an appointment.
If you’re looking to sell your home, you’ll need to provide prospective buyers with an Energy Performance Certificate. This document contains information about how energy-efficient the property is and recommendations to improve performance and reduce costs. If you don’t currently have a valid EPC, all you need to do is contact an accredited assessor, and they will produce a certificate for you.