Commonly Asked Questions about an EPC
What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a guide that would-be buyers or tenants get when they look at a property. It shows how efficiently a home uses energy, the cost of running a home and recommendations of how to improve the energy efficiency of the property.
When do I need an EPC?
As a general rule, an EPC is required every time a home is put up for sale or for rent. So, a newly constructed home will have one, a landlord will need one to show potential tenants, and a seller must have one to show to potential buyers.
There are a few exceptions. You don’t need one for a room that’s being rented out by a resident landlord and listed buildings may also be exempt as they can’t have upgrades like double glazing.
Which are the Buildings that don’t need an EPC?
Places of worship
Temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
Stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50 square metres
Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
Some buildings that are due to be demolished
Holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
Listed buildings – you should get advice from your local authority conservation officer if the work would alter the building’s character
Residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): how does it work?
To simplify things the EPC is done on a sliding rating scale providing summarised ‘at a glance’ information about the energy efficiency of your home. The rating scale is colour coded and alphabetised, running from A to G:
A (Dark green) is highly efficient
G (Red) is low efficiency
Most homes appear around grade D, this is the average.
What other information does the certificate contain?
While EPCs are known by the rating scale, and the relative financial implications of that scale when it comes to selling your home, it also contains plenty of other information designed to help you make your home ‘greener’. This information includes:
Estimates of the energy your property potentially use;
Carbon dioxide emissions;
Details of the person who carried out the assessment;
Who to contact for complaints.
Using this information you can assess the impact of energy-saving upgrades you make when you have your home reassessed later on. These estimates will also influence your eligibility for support and payments, including the ‘Feed-in Tariff’ payments.
Am I legally obliged to carry out the recommendations before I Sell Or Rent?
Recommendations on an EPC are the ways to improve the energy efficiency an in turn to reduce the energy bills. You are not legally obliged to do the recommendations before you sell a property. But it is advisable to read how ti affects while renting a property.
Changes to EPCs for landlords and tenants.
From April 2018, landlords will be required to achieve a minimum rating of E on the EPC for their rental property. Unless there is an accepted exemption, landlords face a penalty of up to £4,000 for failure to meet the minimum efficiency requirement.
The information provided on EPCs is also helpful for tenants looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home. As of April 2016, tenants can now seek permission from their landlord to undertake energy efficiency measures on their privately rented property.
What if I have a question about my EPC?
If you don’t understand something on your certificate or you disagree with it, the first place to go is the energy assessor that carried out the EPC – their details should be available in the ‘About this document’ section.
But if they can’t resolve your issue, you can contact their accreditation scheme, and the details will also be listed in the same section of the certificate.
Why is the term “Assumed” on the certificates where the home’s energy performance features are mentioned?
An EPC survey is called as a “non-invasive survey”. This means our assessors have to follow some conventions and guidelines and has to depend on the evidence that they could only collect from the property.
We depend on the building regulations of the built year of the property and it is the software that implies the term “assumed” on the certificate (based on built year) if we cant find evidence from the property.
The term assumed states that the assessor was not able to find the evidence of insulation and the representation on the certificate is based on the built year regulations.
My Loft/Loft Conversion is insulated. But it has been mentioned as uninsulated assumed?
For loft conversions, we need to have planning permission or completion documents to enter it on to the software. In cases where we are not provided with such documents by the clients, we try to find those documents from the local planning permission web sites of councils. But in cases, we end up with no result. in such cases as per the conventions, we have to date the loft conversion to the built year of the property and built year regulations are applied by the software on the certificate.