Energy Performance Certificates at a glance

by Sara Pernas

An Energy Performance Certification (EPC) is a legal requirement in  bought, sold or rented buildings in the UK.

Although there are some exceptions – places of worship, temporary buildings (less than 2 years of use ), standalone buildings with an area of less than 50m2 that aren’t used to provide living accommodation for a single person, industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use too much energy, and holiday accommodations rented for less than 4 months or with a license to ocuppy -, Energy Performance Certificates are required for all the domestic and commercial buildings available to rent or sell in the UK.

Example showing a graph of an Energy Performance Certificate - via direct.gov.uk

Example of an Energy Performance Certificate

Rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient), Energy Performance Certificates are reports with graphs that tell homeowners how much energy they use and how energy efficiency their house is. Energy Performace Certificates also contain suggestions for homeowners to use their energy in a more efficient way to not to waste their electricity unnecessarily, how to stop carbon dioxide emissions and also to save money on their bills.

From 1st April and since the new Feed-in Tariffs have been introduced, an Energy Performance Certificate Band D or above is required to be eligible for a higher Feed-in Tariff (21 p/kWh). Otherwise, homeowners whose building doesn’t reach level D would be only eligible for a lower tariff . On the other hand, if obtaining an EPC is not possible, these requirements would not take effect.

Energy Performance Certificates are valid for ten years. Once this time is over, a new EPC should be applied for. Energy Performance Certificates costs vary with the time and depend, among other things, in the location and size of a property. Whether you are going to rent or buy a house, an EPC should be given by the old homeowner or the landlordIn the same way, if you are selling or renting your house, you’ll need to provide an EPC to the new owners or tenants, which will be produced by an accredited domestic assessor. Although you can find an accredited assessor by simply looking on the Internet, there’s a website run by Landmark, on behalf of the government, which will be helpful. Click here or on the link on the bottom of the page to find a domestic assessor on Landmark website.

Finally, and as a quick anecdote, in the EPC official website, you can also compare your energy performance with other similar properties by entering a postcode or a report reference number, and see how energy efficient you are for free.

 

Related Links

Energy Performance Certificate Example (via Directgov.co.uk web pages on EPCs)

Feed In Tariff Requires Energy Performance Certificate @ Level D or Above

New Feed-in Tariffs Regulations from 1st April 2012

Find a domestic energy assessor on the Landmark website Opens new window

Find an EPC using a property’s address

Find an EPC by its report reference number

 

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