An EPC is required by law when a building is constructed, sold or put up for rent. If you are a landlord or homeowner and need to provide an EPC to potential buyers or tenants, you'll need to contact an accredited energy assessor who will carry out the assessment and produce the certificate.

EPCs last for 10 years and the fee charged is determined by the size and location of your property.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) contains information about how energy is used in a home or a business premises, along with details of how much the energy used actually costs.

As stated previously,  an EPC is a legal requirement in certain situations and a good idea for pretty much everybody as it contains a 'recommendation report' with suggestions on how you can reduce the amount you spend on keeping your home properly heated.

When you'll be given an EPC

By law you should receive an EPC in the following cases:

  • When you are considering buying a home, you should be provided with an EPC, free of charge. This applies to new homes and existing stock.
  • If you are considering renting a property, you should get an EPC from the landlord, free of charge.

In all cases the intention is to allow you to compare the energy efficiency and costs associated with the property.

What an EPC involves

The energy assessment is a non-invasive survey and you are not required to remove any floorboards, plasterboards or wall coverings. The EPC is conducted by an accredited energy assessor or DEA who will visit your property and collect information to produce the report. Details about the property such as dimensions, type of construction, heating/hot water systems, type of double glazing, levels of insulation in the walls, floor and ceiling are just some of the factors the assessor will inspect. Each EPC report is open to random audit by our accreditation bodies LINK, therefore, the assessor is required to take photographs of items such as boilers, gas/electricity meters and heating controls.

Voluntary EPCs

You can apply for and receive an EPC from an accredited energy assessor simply because you want to know how energy efficient your home is, and what you can do to make improve it so that it’s both efficient and comfortable.

You can look at the EPCs of other properties on the EPC register website. This enables you to compare your home's energy performance with that of similar homes, free of charge. If you don't want other people to be able to see your EPC on the EPC register, you can opt out.

Do you have business premises?
Owners of all commercial buildings also have to provide an EPC when they sell or let commercial premises. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

How does an EPC work?

The EPC rates a building's performance in terms of:

  • Energy use per square metre of floor area
  • Energy efficiency based on fuel costs
  • Environmental impact based on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions

This provides an energy efficiency rating and an environmental impact (CO2) rating. There are seven bands for both of these ratings, from A to G.
The energy efficiency rating is colour-coded from green to red, with the green end of the scale indicating that the home is very energy efficient, with lower running costs, and the red end of the scale indicating it is not energy efficient and has higher running costs.

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There is also a numerical rating from 1 - 100. The bigger the number the more energy efficient the home is and the lower the fuel bills will be.

The environmental impact rating is colour-coded from blue to grey, signifying 'very environmentally friendly - lower CO2 emissions' at the blue end of the scale through to 'not environmentally friendly - higher CO2 emissions' at the grey end.

Again, there is a numerical rating, from 1 - 100, and the bigger the number, the less impact the house has on the environment.

Estimated fuel costs

The EPC assessor uses standardised assumptions about the home's occupancy, heating patterns and geographical location to construct a table that indicates how much it will cost to provide lighting, heating and hot water to this dwelling.

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The table above sets out the current energy use of the building alongside the potential use if a range of recommendations are followed. The same is done for carbon dioxide emissions.

Costs are listed for lighting, heating and hot water - again, there is a figure for the current and potential cost, showing how many pounds could be saved.
Please remember, if you are scrutinising an EPC, check the date the certificate was issued, because fuel prices can change over time.

Detailed performance summary

Having provided details of actual and potential energy use and cost, the EPC provides a summary of the buildings energy performance-related features. These include walls, roofs, floors, windows, heating system, heating controls, hot water and lighting.

 Each element is given stars according to energy performance:

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So, for example, your walls might be described as: “Sandstone or limestone, as built (no insulation)”. They would then be described as one star (very poor) for their performance in terms of both energy efficiency and environmental impact.

A pitched roof with 250mm loft insulation, however, might warrant being described as four stars (good).
If there was low energy lighting in 38% of fixed outlets, this would rank as three stars (satisfactory).

After taking all the individual ratings into account, the assessor can decide the home's overall energy efficiency and environmental impact ratings as shown in the colour-coded charts.

For a full example of an energy performance certificate, visit the DirectGov website or click here.

EPC recommendations

The EPC provides a list of things the property owner can do to improve energy efficiency. It outlines the typical savings per year and the potential performance ratings after the improvements have been made.

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Explanatory text is provided on each measure to help the reader decide what is involved in taking the suggested action. This includes information on which improvements may be eligible for funding through the government's Green Deal (see below).

There is no requirement to act on the recommendations in the report. However, doing so could make the property more attractive for sale or rent by making it more energy efficient, not to mention, reduce bills and increase comfort levels for the occupants.

You may wish to access the Home Energy Check which is provided by the Energy Saving Trust. This is an online interactive tool that uses information about your property to provide advice on energy efficiency measures and installations suitable for your home and budget, and how you may be able to save money on your fuel bills.

How we can help

Here at EPC Kirklees we have a wealth of experience in dealing with EPCs for marketed/non-marketed residential sales and the private/social rental sector. We are also well versed in the requirements of EPC's for ECO funding and applying for other funding such as the government led Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

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