Energy Performance Certificates

Energy Performance Certificates

Although Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) became mandatory in 2008, there remains a degree of mystery and confusion surrounding their purpose and use. In the following article, I will address some of the frequently asked questions I encounter daily in order to help provide a clearer understanding of EPCs.

What is an EPC & do I need to have one?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provides prospective buyers, tenants, or any interested parties with vital information regarding a property’s energy efficiency before making any commitment to a property. The report estimates the average energy consumption required and the associated costs of running the home. Where applicable, it includes recommendations for upgrades to enhance energy efficiency, along with estimated costs for implementing these improvements. Obtaining an EPC is essential when selling, building, or renting out a property. Failure to provide a valid certificate when required can result in a fine of up to £5,000.

What are the benefits of having one?

Some benefits of having an up-to-date EPC include-

  1. Enhanced Marketability: Homes with higher energy efficiency ratings are more appealing to buyers and could potentially increase the property’s value and desirability.
  2. Energy/Cost Savings: Understanding where improvement works can be make and implementing the changes can lead to significant reductions in energy bills.
  3. Environmental Impact: Lowering energy consumption contributes positively to reducing your carbon footprint.
What do the ratings mean?

Properties receive ratings from A to G:

  • A: Most efficient – These properties have the lowest expected running costs.
  • G: Least efficient – These properties have the highest expected running costs.
  • D: The average rating for UK properties. Properties rated lower than D typically have a larger carbon footprint, those residing in these properties should expect larger energy bills!
How long is my EPC valid for?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is valid for ten years. Although not recommended, you can still market your property without an EPC, provided the certificate has already been commissioned. Sellers, landlords, or letting agents must provide the EPC to potential buyers or renters during the transaction process.

How do I obtain an Energy Performance Certificate and are there any exemptions?

The most common way to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is through the property’s Home Report. Typically, a chartered surveyor will conduct the EPC assessment as part of the Report, ensuring there are no additional costs or inconveniences to the seller.

If you need a new EPC but are not planning to sell your property you can have it carried out by any trusted and accredited domestic energy assessor who will issue the certificate. Any good estate or letting agent will be able to point you in the right direction

EPC Exemptions:

Certain types of buildings are exempt from requiring an EPC. These include:

  • Places of worship
  • Buildings scheduled for demolition
  • Residential buildings used for less than four months annually

For a comprehensive list of exemptions, please consult the official government website.

Conclusion

An EPC is a legal prerequisite when selling your home and offers numerous advantages, including increased market appeal, potential energy savings, and positive environmental impacts. Ensure you acquire an EPC before putting your property on the market to avoid penalties and facilitate a smoother sales process.

If you want to find out if your property has a valid EPC in place you can check the Scottish EPC Register here – Home (scottishepcregister.org.uk)

Morgan Bruce
Property Valuer
Phone:01382 201000
Email:  mbruce@gilsongray.co.uk

 

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