What does EPC stand for?
EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. Energy Performance Certificates, or EPCs, are a compulsory requirement for all homes on the property market.
Landlords are liable for a Penalty Notice if advertising a property without an EPC. The requirement to ‘commission’ an EPC before the property is advertised applies to all buildings including non-residential buildings, whether they are being sold or rented out. Prior to the 6th of April 2012, this only applied to the sale of residential property.
Currently, EPC’s are a legal requirement and must be available to show both potential buyers and tenants before any tenancy or sales agreement takes place.
The responsibility to commission an EPC rests with the owner or landlord. Trading Standards can request evidence from sellers and landlords, and persons acting on their behalf, i.e. estate agents and letting agents, to produce proof of commission or a copy of the actual EPC. Once questioned, Letting Agents have 7 days to provide that evidence. If the agent cannot provide that evidence then a Penalty Notice will be issued.
As of April 2018, a property must have a minimum EPC rating of E in order to be legally let. Shockingly, only 42% of landlords were aware of this requirement.
From April 2020, all existing tenancies (not just new tenancies and renewals) will legally require an EPC rating of ‘E’ or above. Find out more here.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An Energy Performance Certificate gives detailed information on how a home can be made more energy efficient and the steps occupiers can take to help reduce wasted energy and carbon dioxide emissions.
Energy Assessment Survey
The first step in producing an Energy Performance Certificate for a property is to perform an Energy Assessment Survey of that property. The assessment is undertaken by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor who will need to carry out both internal and external inspections of the property.
An Energy Assessment Survey includes the following details:
- The construction of the roof and walls
- The presence of any cavity wall insulation
- Any renewable energy devices such as wind turbines or solar panels
- The presence of double glazing and when the double glazing was installed
- The presence and amount of both open and closed fireplaces
- The make of the boiler, the fuel it uses and the boiler’s flue type
- The heating system and thermostat type
- The number of inhabited rooms which are heated
- The thickness of the jacket around the hot water cylinder
- The presence and amount of low-energy usage light bulbs
- The presence of roof insulation and the thickness of the roof
- Measurements of any extensions or conservatories
- Measurements of both the external and internal areas of the property
- Sketches of the layout of the property
- The year in which the property was built
Once the Domestic Energy Assessor has all the information required, they can begin to prepare the property’s EPC.
What an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) contains
An EPC shows the current energy efficiency of a property and the possible energy efficiency achievable when the occupier makes certain energy efficiency improvements to the home.
The energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions of a property are measured using an A to G grading system where G is the least efficient rating and A is the most efficient rating.
Carbon dioxide is known as a Greenhouse Gas. Greenhouse Gases have an incredibly detrimental effect on the planet, causing sea levels and temperature levels to rise resulting in extreme weather occurrences.
These occurrences of extreme weather are becoming more and more frequent and, frighteningly, more severe. With the combined efforts of individuals to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, it is hoped that the impact on the environment can be significantly reduced.
The EPC’s Recommendation Report
Also within an EPC is a Recommendation Report which provides the occupier with plenty of advice on how to run a more energy efficient home and how to cut down on their carbon dioxide emissions. By following the advice within the EPC, an individual can not only reduce emissions and energy wastage but also make considerable savings on energy bills.
A Recommendation Report includes:
- Suggestions for improvements to reduce energy and emissions
- The potential savings an individual could make if the suggested improvements are undertaken
- The change in the energy usage and emissions of the property after the suggested improvements have taken place
Improvements and Changes to Reduce Energy Usage and Emissions
There are numerous ways for a homeowner or tenant to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and energy usage. Below are some of the improvements which may well be suggested in the property’s Energy Performance Certificate:
- Installing cavity wall insulation
- Draft proofing windows and doors
- Installing loft insulation
- Insulating pipes and tanks
- Installing a condensing boiler
- Reducing water usage
- Consider energy efficient glazing
- Consider renewable energy technology such as a wood fuelled heater, solar panels or wind turbines
- Installing low-energy usage light bulbs
One incredibly simple way to both reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save 10% on heating bills is to turn down the thermostat by just 1%.
To make life a little easier/cheaper, we’ve joined forces with Bark, the perfect place to find trusted tradespeople for any type of job around the home. Get a no-obligation quote today.
Gas Safety Certificates
As well as an Energy Performance Certificate, a landlord is also required, by law, to have a Gas Safety Certificate when gas appliances are present in the property. A Gas Safety Certificate is awarded after a registered gas engineer has carried out a successful Gas Safety Check on the property. If an appliance fails the inspection, the gas supply to the appliance will be cut off and the appliance will either need to be repaired by a registered engineer or completely replaced.
If the appliance/appliances pass the inspection, the landlord will be given two copies of the Gas Safety Certificate, one for their own records and one for the tenants.
Save up to 15% off on all landlord services, including EPCs, gas safety certificates and our fixed-fee rental plans.