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What Are EPCs and Why Do I Need One?

For those who are new to selling or even renting their home, an Energy Performance Certificate or “EPC” has been a legal requirement since the 1st October 2008 for when selling, renting or building a residential property in England and Wales.

The certificate is intended to tell you how energy efficient a house is and the impact it has on the environment by using A-G ratings. It will also provide recommendations on how to improve energy performance to help identify ways to save money on your energy bills. An EPC is similar to the labels now provided with domestic appliances.

How long are EPCs valid for?

EPCs are valid for 10 years and can be reused as many times as required within that period. If a newer EPC is produced within the ten year period, only the most recent one is valid.

Who can produce an EPC?

The only person who is able to produce an Energy Performance Certificate is an accredited energy assessor. They may be employed by a company (such as an estate agent) or by independent traders. Always check they operate as part of an accreditation scheme as this ensures your energy assessor is operating to professional standards.

We use a competitive, accredited energy assessor to produce Energy Performance Certificates. Please contact us to discuss this in further detail.

What’s included in the certificate?

They are produced using standard methods and assumptions about energy usage so that the energy efficiency of one building can easily be compared with another building of the same type. This allows prospective buyers, tenants, owners, occupiers and purchasers to see information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions from their building so they can consider energy efficiency and fuel costs as part of their investment.

An EPC is always accompanied by a recommendation report that lists cost effective and other measures (such as low and zero carbon generating systems) to improve the energy rating. A rating is also given of what could be achieved if all the recommendations were implemented.

The energy-efficiency rating is a measure of a home’s overall efficiency. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the home is, and the lower the fuel bills are likely to be.

The environmental impact rating is a measure of a home’s impact on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – the higher the rating, the less impact it has on the environment.

In addition the EPCs must convey several other key pieces of information:

Reference information includes the type of property (e.g. house, flat), the unique reference number (as stored in the central register) and date of the certificate.

Estimated energy use is based on standardised assumptions about occupancy and heating patterns. An estimate of the current and potential energy use, carbon emissions and fuel costs for lighting, heating and hot water is provided. The actual energy use depends on the behaviour of the occupants.

Energy Assessor details includes the assessor’s name, accreditation number, company name (or trading name if self employed) and contact details.

Complaints, the certificate will provide information about how to complain or how to check the certificate is authentic.

Energy advice about energy efficient behaviour.

How do I check whether a property has an EPC?

There is a government website that allows you to do exactly this. It’s called EPC Register, all you need to do is click the ‘Retrieve report using property address’ and enter the property’s postcode.

About The Author

Everyone at Edison Ford works as a team to bring you this content. The content is either written by Kieran or Peter and the advice included in our guides comes from our own experiences and research collectively. We hope you find our content insightful and if you have any suggestions, then please feel free to email Peter. You can read more about everyone here.

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