What is an Energy Performance Certificate and when will one be required?

Energy Performance Certificate

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document which is required for all homes whenever they are built, rented or sold.

Therefore if an individual is buying or selling a home it is now a requirement set in stone by law that an Energy Performance Certificate is in place.

Are there any other circumstances when an Energy Performance Certificate is required?

Energy Performance certificates are also required upon the construction of a new home and are also needed for rental homes for the first time the property is let.

Why is it important that we have Energy Performance Certificates in the UK?

Energy Performance Certificates are important as currently half of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions occur due to the way are buildings are heated, lit or used. Even if we implement various changes which may appear minor will have a significant impact on reducing energy consumption.

What information is contained on the certificate?

The Energy Performance Certificate will provide a record of how energy efficient a property is as a building and will provide ratings on how energy efficient it is from A to G. These ratings are along the same lines as the labels which are currently provided with certain domestic appliances such as washing machines or fridges.

Will the same methods concerning energy consumption apply across all properties?

Energy Performance Certificates will be created using standard methods and assumptions concerning energy consumption which will apply across the board ensuring that one building can easily be compared with another building. This will ensure that the following people can make an informed decision regarding the efficiency and carbon emissions from the building as part of their investment:

  • Prospective buyers

  • Tenants

  • Owners

  • Occupiers

  • Purchasers

Recommendation Report

An Energy Performance Certificate is also accompanied by a recommendation report which lists various cost effective measures to improve the energy efficiency rating. Furthermore contained within the Energy Performance Certificate is another rating to reflect what the rating could be if these measures were implemented.

When is an Energy Performance Certificate Required?

Since October 2008 all homes when built or sold require an Energy Performance Certificate. In relation to rented properties an Energy Performance Certificate will be required when a self-contained property is let to a new tenant.

An Energy Performance Certificate will not be required, however, when a tenant rents out a room and shares facilities in the situation where the tenant has a separate contract with the landlord.

Who has the responsibility in ensuring the Energy Performance Certificate is in place?

It is the responsibility of the individual selling or renting the property to ensure there is a valid Energy Performance Certificate in place and that it is shown to prospective buyers and tenants.  Once someone has bought the property or agreed to rent it the Energy Performance Certificate must be passed on to the eventual buyer or tenant.

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For more information on:

  • As a landlord or a seller of a property when should I make an Energy Performance Certificate available?
  • For how long will an Energy Performance Certificate last?
  • How can I go about obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate?
  • What is the potential penalty for not having an Energy Performance Certificate in place?
  • Which body is required to ensure that buildings have the requisite Energy Performance Certificate in place?