Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Content
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
The certificate will give each building a SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure – out of 100 possible) rating, and this will equate to an energy rating from A to G (A is very efficient and G is very inefficient), similar to those already seen on white goods. In layman’s terms, the certificate will show the energy efficiency levels of a property.
The EPC is formed by a qualified Energy Assessor making a visit to your rental property and gathering vital information about the property in order to produce the certificate.
This is an example of what an EPC looks like:
Do I need an EPC?
From the 1st of October 2008, Landlords must provide an Energy Performance Certificate to all new and prospective tenants. The certificates (EPCs) should be provided at no cost to prospective tenants either before or during a viewing is being conducted.
Each property is required to have it’s own EPC’s, it is not based on a “per tenant” or “per landlord” basis. However, where a tenant sub-lets a dwelling, the responsibility to make an EPC available lies with the sub-leaseholder.
Landlords and agents need to have an EPC within seven days or marketing a property or risk getting a penalty from Trading Standards.
If you have a lodger an EPC is not required.
Where can I get an Energy Performance Certificate from?
The certificate must be produced by an accredited energy surveyor. There are plenty of providers around. All you need to do is Google something like, “Energy Performance Certificates provider [insert county]”
However, I’ve often ordered mine from lettingaproperty.com – Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for £69 (VAT inc). That includes everything! If the property is located in Scotland, the price is £99 (VAT inc).
It’s important to ensure that the independent energy assessor you use is a current member of an accreditation scheme, as this ensures your energy assessor is operating to professional standards.
An EPC is only authentic if issued by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA).
What’s the purpose of the certificate?
The EPC highlights two key areas about a rental property:
- The energy efficiency rating (this is based on how much the home would cost to run). Essentially though, this will largely depend on the lifestyle of the tenants.
- The environmental impact rating (this is based on how much carbon dioxide is released into the
environment because of the home)
The rating is based on factors like age, property layout, construction, heating, lighting, and insulation. The ratings are standard so a tenant can compare the energy efficiency of one rental property with another.
How much does an EPC cost?
I’ve seen them as cheap as £50, but I’ve also seen them priced at £100. It ultimately depends on the location of the property, from what I’m aware. However, I would definitely shop around for quotes, because it is competitive out there.
How often do EPCs need to be renewed?
Each certificate will last for 10 years unless major renovation work is carried out on the property. Property owners can voluntarily get a new certificate after installation of energy efficiency measures – particularly if these improve the energy rating.
If a newer EPC has been produced for a home within the ten year period, only the most recent one is valid.
What does an Energy Inspection involve?
Booking an Energy Inspection is like booking any other appointment; a convenient time will be arranged to visit the rental property.
During the assessment the assessor will inspect the rental property and collect information such as external and/or internal measurements, details about the construction, and the type of heating/hot water used in your property. In order to gather the information, the assessor will need to access all rooms, the boiler and the loft.
The assessment of a 3 bed property typically takes up to 60 minutes; larger or complex properties can take longer.
After the assessment, the assessor will send you the EPC and recommendation report. The recommendation report will contain recommendations of how the property’s energy efficiency can be improved. Each recommendation will be accompanied by the typical cost savings per year as well as what the performance rating could be after improvements are made.
Do I have to improve the efficiency of my property?
If the recommendation report comes back with suggestions to improve the efficiency of your rental property, you are NOT legally obligated to act on any of the recommendations.
However, improving energy efficiency levels may make your property more desirable for prospective tenants, consequently making it easier to let.
Improving energy efficiency
The top five recommendations given by assessors for improving energy efficiency have been:
- Cavity wall insulation
- Using low energy lighting
- Using thermostatic valves on radiators
- Loft insulation
- Double glazing windows