Energy performance certificates explained
Energy performance certificates help the buyer to see how efficient your home is
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 your house 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 and can arrange it through your estate agent or directly with an EPC provider.
Home reports, Scotland’s equivalent of Hips, are still required and include an EPC (known as an energy report). They also include a survey and a property questionnaire.
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 is 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 performance certificate costs
Costs can range from around £60 to £120. They can vary widely within the same area, so shop around. If you go directly to an EPC provider rather than getting it through an estate agent, the cost of EPCs are generally cheaper.
To find the best deal, get a quote from your estate agent, search for firms online and visit the energy performance certificate register online to find accredited energy assessors in your area to get quotes. You can also check whether an individual assessor is accredited on the site. To check online prices please click here
In Scotland, home reports can cost from £600 but there may be regional variations. If you are selling your home in Scotland, get a quote from your estate agent as well as from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for a survey and energy report.