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EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Guide

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EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Guide

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a certificate that gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (good) to G (poor).

Are EPCs compulsory?

In May 2010 the controversial Home Information Pack (HIP) was scrapped.
It’s been replaced by the EPC, which is now a legal requirement for anyone selling their house.

The EPC is not new – they have been around since December 2007 when they formed part of old HIP. The Government have stated that they are keeping the EPC as part of their commitment to reduce energy bills and tackle climate change by increasing the energy efficiency of homes.

The law and EPCs

The law says that if you want to put your property on the market you must either have an EPC (often called an "EPC certificate") in place or you must have ordered one.

If you’ve ordered one you’re allowed to market your property for up to 7 days before receiving it. Since it only takes a few days to get an EPC done this should be plenty of time.

If (and only if) "all reasonable efforts" have been made to get an EPC, it is possible to market your property for up to 28 days before the EPC is in place. After 28 days you are liable to a penalty notice from your local trading standards officer, regardless of how compelling your reason for not having an EPC may be. We don’t suggest you test this!

Failing to provide an EPC when asked can mean a fixed penalty charge of £200 (for each occasion). Fixed penalty notices are issued by local trading standards officers.
Who needs an EPC?

Anyone renting or selling a residential property anywhere in the UK (in Scotland it is normally included as part of the Scottish Home Report), though this guide is written for sellers in England and Wales.

This includes anyone selling privately even if the sale is to a friend or family member.

Even if you are selling through an estate agent it is still your responsibility (not the agent’s) to make sure you have an EPC in place.
How much does an EPC cost?

While EPC costs vary (depending on the size of house and where you are in the country) they are typically between £50 and £100.

Who prepares the EPC?

EPCs are prepared by Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs). Your DEA must be accredited for your EPC to be valid.

How long does an EPC take?

You should allow about a week to get your EPC done, though it can often be done quicker.

After you have booked your EPC a domestic energy assessor will visit your house and carry out a survey. Once this is done they should send you a copy of your EPC within two or three days.

When must you provide an EPC?

You should provide a copy of your EPC "at the earliest opportunity".

Failing this it must be made available:

  • when the property is first viewed; or
  • when written information is sent in response to a request, whichever is the earlier.

If your EPC is not ready it should be provided as soon as possible. Whatever happens, you should not exchange contracts before providing your EPC.

Written particulars
Until recently it was ok to just include the "asset rating graphs" from the EPC when sending out written particulars. But the rules changed on 6th April 2012.

Now, if you are sending out written particulars (whether physical or electronic) you should include either the complete first page or the EPC or a full copy.
Written particulars are defined as containing two or more of the following:

  • a photograph of the building or any room inside the building
  • a floor plan of the building
  • a description of the size of the rooms in the building
  • the measured area of the building
  • the proposed rent (only in the case of a rented property)

If you are only advertising your property (e.g., through a website or newspaper) you don’t have to include the EPC in your advert.

How long is an EPC valid?

An EPC is valid for 10 years.

If you are marketing your property when this 10 year period ends your EPC will remain valid for as long as it is continuously marketed. If you then take it off the market for more than 28 days, however, you will need a new EPC.

EPC exemptions

The following types of property do not require an EPC:

  • properties where occupation is limited to less than 11 months a year
  • holiday accommodation
  • mixed use (such as a shop with flat above)
  • non-residential property
  • right to buy and similar properties
  • sales of property portfolios
  • properties sold without vacant possession
  • unsafe properties and properties to be demolished
  • park homes

What if I’m buying "off-plan"?

If you’re buying a house off-plan you should be provided with a Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA). Once the house is built the PEA should be replaced by a full Energy Performance Certificate.

How do I order an EPC?

Because we work with the UK’s leading EPC providers we are able to offer high quality fully compliant EPCs at discounted prices.

To get an instant EPC quote call us now on 01235 250 789.