An Energy Performance Certificate or EPC, is produced by a qualified Energy Assessor after having carried out an energy assessment at a property. The energy performance certificate is then issued to the landlord or owner of the property.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
It is often misunderstood to be an electrical assessment – these are two completely different assessments. The Energy Performance Assessment does what essentially is says, and that is an assessment of the efficiency of the way in which the property performs from an energy consumption standpoint.
The easiest way of describing an Energy Performance Certificate or EPC is to consider when you purchase a new fridge, you may recall seeing a colourful graph on a sticker which indicates how energy efficient the fridge it. Most fridges nowadays has a good energy efficiency rating such as A – B. A poor energy efficiency score would be G. The higher the rating, the better the efficiency of energy consumption the fridge it = lower cost and less carbon emissions.
The same technically applies to the property’s energy efficiency however, the way in which the assessor assesses the efficiency of the property is somewhat different to that of a fridge!
Various factors are included in the Energy Performance Certificate such as:
- Ventilation in the property
- Thickness of walls
- Cavity wall insulation present / not present
- Type of windows i.e. uPVC or wood
- Thickness of loft insulation
- Room dimensions
- Type and efficiency of boiler etc
Having an Energy Performance Certificate or EPC displayed on all properties for sale or to rent was made a legal requirement as from the 1st October 2008. Landlords caught without following these regulations may be faced with a financial penalty.
Energy Performance Certificates for Landlords
Landlords will be able to make changes to the property to let based on the recommendations of the Energy Performance Certificate report. The report will include information for the Landlord such as:
- Suggested improvements (such as fitting loft insulation)
- The approximate cost of such improvements
- Possible cost savings per year if the improvements are made
- How this would change the carbon emission rating and energy efficiency of the property
Landlords can use this information to:
- Encourage Tenants to rent property based on potentially lower fuel costs
- Cut your own fuel costs or standing charges for vacant properties
- Improve energy efficiency in your house or flat to rent
- Help cut carbon emissions from your property
Landlords are not required to act on the recommendations suggested from the energy efficiency report however, in order to promote the attractiveness of a property to let, a more energy efficient property should encourage price conscious tenants to make further enquiries.
An Energy Performance Certificate is not required when a tenant rents a room and shares facilities.
Energy Performance Certificates for Tenants?
The energy efficiency of a property to let is measured by using the same calculations for all homes, houses and flats to rent. This allows Tenants to make an informed decision when they come to selecting a property to rent. A higher energy efficient property may be cheaper to run when calculating the cost of heating and fuel bills.
As a tenant, if you are interested in renting a property then an EPC must be made available to you free of charge by either the Landlord or the Letting Agent.
An EPC is only required for a rental property which is self-contained, and is valid for 10 years. An EPC isn't required when you rent a room and share facilities.
Who needs an Energy Performance Certificate?
The EPC is required by law when a building is constructed, sold or put up for rent.
IF you have not already arranged an Energy Performance Certificate, you can order one online here.