Your EPC Explained
At Jordan & Halstead, we’ve been working with EPCs since their introduction in 2008, so we’ve seen our fair share of different homes in that time. An EPC is a vital piece of documentation that everyone selling or letting out their home needs before they can put their property on the market, but it’s something a lot of people might forget about, or not really know what to do about getting. In this blog post, we’ll run through everything you need to know when it comes to EPCs for selling or letting your home, how you can improve the energy efficiency of your home, and more, so if you’re confused, keep reading.
What Is An EPC?
An EPC, or Energy Performance Certificate, essentially tells potential buyers or renters how energy efficient your property is. This, in turn, tells them how much bills are likely to be in the home, such as heating and electricity. All properties with an EPC are rated on a scale from A (the most energy-efficient) to G (the least energy efficient), and this is generally based on the amount of energy the property uses per square metre, and the levels of carbon dioxide the property emits every year.
Do I Need An EPC, And How Do I Get One?
Every home that is being sold or let needs an EPC in order to be put to market, with a few notable exceptions which we’ll touch on later. If you’re trying to sell or let a home without an EPC, you can be subject to non-compliance penalties, which can mean a fine. If you’re a landlord you can’t evict tenants in certain circumstances if you haven’t provided them with an EPC.
Your EPC assessment will be carried out by EPC or Domestic Energy Assessors, who will survey your home to understand how energy efficient it is. This generally takes an hour or two, depending on the size of your property. They’ll pay special attention to things like glazing, insulation and your boiler, as well as where your electricity comes from. They’ll then give you your EPC, which appears on a coloured scale from A to G. If your home has a very poor energy efficient rating, you might be restricted in what you can do with the property, and you should look into making the building more energy-efficient. For example, if you are letting out a property in England, as of 2018 your property has to have an EPC rating of E or above before you can accept any new tenants.
How Can I Improve My Energy Rating?
If you have a poor energy rating, you might need to carry out some improvements in order to do what you’d like to with the property, such as let it out. A poor EPC rating will also often lower the value of your home when you’re trying to sell. Aside from all this, a poor rating will usually mean you’re wasting money on a home that isn’t energy-efficient, and you could be paying less for your energy bills. Some of the most popular ways to improve your EPC are:
- Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs to reduce your electricity consumption quickly and easily.
- Take a look at your home insulation – a better-insulated home means less need for central heating, less waste and lower bills for residents.
- Consider switching to a newer boiler, and look into smart heating options to see if you could improve the efficiency of your heating with a bit of help from the computers!
- Find out where your energy is coming from, and consider switching to a renewable source or investing in your own renewable sources of energy.
- Make sure your property has double glazing, or look into getting it installed, as this can help to insulate your home incredibly effectively.
Everything You Need To Know About The EPC Register
The EPC register is a publicly available list of all properties with an EPC, and the EPC is visible to anyone who wants to see it. This is useful for new or potential buyers comparing similar properties, different areas or older properties, as these generally have lower EPC ratings than new builds. Your home will automatically be put onto the EPC register when it is assessed, so you don’t have to do anything else to make sure you’re on the register.
Exceptions To The Rule
Listed buildings have been exempt from needing an EPC since 2013, but there are still certain energy efficiency standards that have to be met, and you can get an EPC for your listed building if you want to. As EPCs last for 10 years, if your building had an EPC before 2013, then it has to have an E rating as a minimum. Of course, things like putting in double glazing and more modern insulation can be much more difficult – if not completely impossible – in a listed building, so if you find yourself with a listed building that isn’t up to scratch on the EPC, see if there are any less intrusive ways to improve, such as draught-proofing or installing a more energy-efficient boiler.
Religious buildings and places of worship are also usually exempt from needing an EPC, as are industrial sites and agricultural buildings and temporary buildings that have a planned time of use of fewer than two years.
At Jordan & Halstead, our team of property experts can help you prepare your property for market, including making sure you have an EPC and advising you on the best steps to take if you find your home isn’t as energy efficient as you’d like. To find out more about our team, how we can help you, or just for an honest, open and transparent chat about your next steps on the property ladder with a local property expert, contact Jordan & Halstead today.