What’s an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a review of how energy efficient your house is.
Introduced in 2007, an EPC is a legal requirement for every home in the UK that is newly built, being sold or rented. Its main aim is to tell would-be buyers or renters how expensive a property is to run and each certificate is valid for 10 years. By estimating the typical energy use in the home, an EPC will rate the energy performance of a property from A (very efficient with the cheapest energy bills) to G (least efficient with the highest bills).
A poor rating can have a disastrous effect if you are trying to sell your home and a good rating will make your property more attractive to prospective buyers.
Your house’s EPC rating will depend on:
- The amount of energy used per m2.
- The level of carbon dioxide emissions (given in tonnes per year).
To determine this, an EPC assessor (or Domestic Energy Assessors in Scotland), will carry out a brief survey of the property. This normally takes 45-60 minutes and the assessor will look at:
- The size of your living space.
- How your house is constructed – do you have double-glazing or cavity insulation?
- Loft insulation – roughly 25 per cent of heat in our homes escapes through the roof, so it’s worth checking if your loft is insulated to current standards (270mm deep).
- Lighting – how many fittings do you have, how many energy-efficient light bulbs do you use etc?
- Heating system and controls – what boiler you have can massively affect your EPC rating.
From this, the EPC assessor will be able to estimate potential energy costs, energy performance and your home’s environmental impact. One of the biggest contributors to global warming is carbon dioxide. Typically, a 3-bedroom house will use 2.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year and an EPC will give homeowners recommendations of how they can reduce overall energy costs and usage.
These recommendations can include things such as fitting energy efficiency light bulbs to installing solar panels and they come with estimated costs and information about how much you could save per year, as well as the effect these measures can have on improving your EPC rating.
Ultimately, an EPC will give homeowners and tenants as much information as possible about the energy efficiency in their new homes before they move in. Forearmed is forewarned – your EPC puts you in control of whether you want to spend their money on energy-saving measures or on energy bills.