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As of the 1st August 2007, all domestic and commercial buildings in the UK available to buy or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If you own a home or a business, getting an energy performance survey done could help you identify was to save money on your energy bills and improve the comfort of your home or business.

In short, an EPC rating is a review of a property’s energy efficiency. Much like the multi-coloured stickers you see on all new appliances, an EPC will tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A to G. The most efficient homes are in band A and these should have the lowest fuel bills. The Energy Performance Certificate also tells you, on a scale of A-G, about the impact through Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The average property in the UK sits between bands D-E. The EPC is useful because it will include recommendations on ways to improve the home’s energy efficiency. This will help you to save money and reduce your CO2 emissions. EPCs also apply to commercial buildings and are rated only by Carbon Dioxide emission ratings on a scale of A-G.

Who needs an Energy Performance Certificate?

An Energy Performance Certificate is required whenever a property is being built, sold or rented. This applies to both the domestic and commercial sectors.

It is a requirement to have an EPC before you can market your property to prospective buyers or tenants.

Minimum Requirements

As of April 1st 2018, it has become a legal requirement for ALL privately owned properties to have an EPC rating of at least E or above before they are sold or to let. This new legislation applies to both domestic and commercial buildings. There are some exemptions, for example if a property is a listed building. To find out more visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/private-rented-sector-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-exemptions/guidance-on-prs-exemptions-and-exemptions-register-evidence-requirements

How to check if you have an EPC

Once an EPC has been completed it will be valid for 10 years. You can easily check if your property has an EPC by visiting the government website and inserting your postcode:

https://www.epcregister.com/home.html

Where can you get an Energy Performance Ticket?

If you are selling your property through an estate agent, they will usually arrange for an EPC to be completed at the same time as photography and floor plans. If you are selling your property as an independent, you will be required to obtain your own EPC. A list of accredited EPC assessors is available on the government website: https://www.epcregister.com/searchAssessor.html

How much does an EPC cost?

There is no fixed fee for an EPC, it depends on a number of different factors. These include what kind of property you own and how many rooms it has. The area you live in can also have an effect on the price.

EPC prices typically start at £35, but a certificate for a large building in an expensive city could easily cost three to four times this amount.

What is involved in an EPC inspection?

The energy assessor will need to visit your property to conduct an energy survey. The assessor will need to access all rooms, including any lofts or extensions. They will also be required to inspect your heating systems and controls, take measurements and take photographs of all key data included in the survey.

The survey is non-invasive, and a visual inspection is all that is required. You can ask the assessor how long he expects to be as the time varies between properties. On average an energy performance survey takes around 45-60 minutes to complete.

Once the energy assessor has completed a sweep of the building they will then input all the information to produce an EPC. This will then be logged to the central register and available to download online.

Does a care home need an EPC?

A care home will only need an Energy Performance Ticket on construction, sale or rental as whole building. (The whole building EPC would be based on SBEM, the method for assessing non-dwellings).

There will normally be no requirement for each resident to obtain an Energy Performance Ticket. The home’s accommodation which is provided with attendant services but without a right of exclusive possession of any part of the building would not usually constitute a letting in respect of which an EPC should be made available. Residency of care homes, student accommodation blocks, hotel rooms and prisons are likely to fall into this category (Source – The Department of Finance).

Solar Panels and EPC

As of the 1st April 2012, you’ll also need an Energy Performance Certificate of band D or higher if you want to have solar panels installed in your home and receive the standard rate from the Feed-in Tariff.

If your property is below band D when you first apply for the Feed-in Tariff you will receive a lower rate, which will remain the case even if you improve your home’s energy performance at a later date.

As the Feed-in Tariff rate is a crucial component in assessing the earning potential of your solar panels it is also crucial to have your home energy assessed first. Should you have a lower rating it may make more financial sense to improve your homes energy efficiency before installing your solar panels (Source – U Switch).

What happens if I do not obtain an EPC?

The Department of Finance (DoF) and district councils have the duty to enforce the requirements of the Energy Performance Certificate regulations.

Failure to comply with the regulations or a request to produce relevant documents from an enforcer may result in the issue of a penalty charge notice.

To find out more visit the EPC register FAQs page:

https://www.epcregister.com/faq.html


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