Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are simple guides to help someone moving into a home to see how efficient a home uses energy, and therefore the costs of running it. The scheme was introduced in 2007 and requires the need for a certificate whenever a property is first built, and then sold and/or rented.
An EPC is compiled on the basis of research by a qualified assessor, by examining parts of a home such as loft and wall insulation, radiators, and double glazing. Anywhere where heat escapes from the home will be considered to then give an overall impression of carbon dioxide emissions. Note that this does not include electrical items, since they would not presumably be remaining in the home when a new person moves in and would therefore be irrelevant.
The measurements are fed into a software programme which then provides a single energy efficiency rating, from A to G, where A is the most efficient and G is the least. Each ‘grade’ is based on the efficiency percentage of the home, so an A grade home is between 92% and 100% efficient, while a G is 1-20%. The national average is 46% (an E grade), so there is plenty of scope for improvement nationally. There’s also an environmental impact rating, specifically relating to the carbon dioxide emissions.
Alongside the grades, which last for ten years, is an estimate of the grade the home could achieve if improvements were made. The EPC contains a table ranking existing features, on a star scale from one to five, meaning that you can specifically target individual parts of the home to boost its efficiency.
As well as details about the property address, type, date of inspection and size, each certificate also includes information about its likely bills for heat, light and washing. The certificate must be in place before the property is marketed, not after a buyer or tenant is installed, so for this reason a potential buyer/renter has an overall idea of the the costs their home will incur, should they decide to go ahead and move in.
Not all properties need an EPC as there are several exceptions, such as listed buildings, some holiday accommodation and buildings set for demolition, but the vast majority of properties do. Therefore, as a potential seller, you have the choice of trying to get your home to be more efficient before gaining its certificate. The costs vary, and are sometimes up to £120, but being able to prove that a home is energy efficient might pay for itself when you’re thinking of setting an asking price.
Click here to find out more about EPC, or for more information on accredited domestic energy assessors, you can log on to a special site provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Using an assessor’s services for your EPC is a mandatory requirement if you are thinking of selling your home, but it’s also one that could lead to a more efficient home that gives you piece of mind.
Thinking of selling your house? Call Trevor Michel at our sponsors, Simmons & Sons on 01491 571111