What your home Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating means
Last updated: 21/12/2021
In the UK, any home that’s built, sold or rented needs an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is a rating of the property’s energy efficiency. And if you’re planning to sell your house or flat, you’ll need to make this EPC available to prospective buyers.
Read on to find out how to get an EPC for your home, what it tells you, and how much it costs.
- What is the EPC for?
- Your EPC rating
- How do I get an EPC for my property?
- How much does an EPC cost?
The EPC document details how energy efficient your home is, including projected energy costs. This takes into account usage, fuel costs, and how much carbon dioxide the property emits.
You also get a summary of your home’s energy performance-related features, which are rated using a scale of very good to very poor. The main elements considered are:
- Main heating
- Main heating controls
- Secondary heating
- Hot water
The EPC also includes recommendations as to how to make your property more efficient, including the estimated costs of these improvements, and how much you could potentially save by doing so.
As such, the EPC is a useful document for homeowners and potential buyers alike. If the EPC rating is poor, for example, then the EPC gives you the opportunity to make an informed decision as to whether making changes will be worth it in the long run.
When your property is assessed, it will be given a grade from A to G. Properties with an A grade – in dark green – are the best performing in terms of energy efficiency. Conversely, properties with a G grade – in dark red – are the poorest.
In short, the better the rating, the cheaper the property should be to run.
Older homes tend to have lower ratings, whereas new-builds are more likely to score an A, as properties have been built increasingly with energy in mind. Don’t be too disheartened if your home gets a low score, though. The average EPC rating for a UK home is D, and there are always steps you can take to improve efficiency.
If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you need to join the government’s EPC register. On the government website, you can check to see if your home already has an EPC, or check the certificate for any other registered property in the UK.
If you don’t have a valid certificate, you’ll need to get one before you can sell. There are some exemptions, such as temporary buildings, or holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than four months a year. You can read the full list of EPC exceptions here.
The GOV.UK page can also supply you with a list of accredited energy assessors in your area. After you’ve chosen one, they will come round to assess your property, give it a score, and add it to the register.
The EPC lasts for 10 years. However, you may choose to get a new certificate at any time – if you make improvements on your home and want to sell up sooner, for instance.
The EPC will cost between about £60 and £120. Most properties tend to fall on the lower end, and there’s no particular benefit in choosing a more expensive provider – so be sure to shop around. It’s usually cheaper to go to an energy assessor directly, rather than getting an EPC via an estate agent. You can find local assessors on the EPC register.
Please note that if you’re selling your home in Scotland, you need to get a Home Report. These cost between £585 and £820, depending on the size of the property. In addition to an energy report (the EPC equivalent), this also includes a house survey and property questionnaire.
There are several steps you can take to potentially improve your EPC rating. You can read the Principality guide to making your home more energy efficient here.