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EPC Certificate Cost. Everything you need to know.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) introduced in 2017 contains regulations applied to non-dwellings on construction, sale or rent in the UK. With information about energy efficiency level and how to improve it, the guidance is essential for homeowners who look to sell or rent out their properties.
What is the Energy Performance Certificate?
EPCs are a legal requirement for landlords in the UK. They assess the energy efficiency level of properties which are built, sold or rented out, establishing ratings from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient).
The current minimum EPC rating applied to all new tenancies is E and will be raised to C from 1 April 2025. From 1 April 2028, all existing tenancies will be demanded to meet the requirement. If your property fails to get the minimum rating, the fine could be £5,000 and increase to £30,000 in 2025.
An EPC is valid for 10 years, and landlords can upgrade their certificates after implementing improvements to the energy performance of their properties.
How to read an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate provides information about the energy performance, including the heating costs, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions at your place and the current and potential energy costs. Furthermore, it recommends the actions needed to improve the energy performance as well as the estimated costs and new energy efficiency rate after improvements are implemented.
The rating from A to G is determined based on the government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) points, from 1 – 100.
EPC rating A = 92-100 SAP points (most efficient)
EPC razing B = 81-91 SAP points
EPC rating C = 69-80 SAP points
EPC rating D = 55-68 SAP points
EPC rating E = 39-54 SAP points
EPC rating F = 21-38 SAP points
EPC rating G = 1-20 SAP points (least efficient)
How can I get an A on my EPC?
Getting an A is difficult and not necessary as the minimum rating required is currently E and will be raised to C in 2025. Moreover, the EPC rating is decided by the quality of your heating and lighting systems rather than your lifestyle. That means even if you did not waste energy, getting an A would still be impossible if you had an outdated and inefficient boiler or insulation system.
If you want to obtain a higher rate, you can register for a new assessment after upgrading the energy performance of your property.
Why do I need an EPC?
Firstly, getting an EPC is an obligation to meet before selling or renting out properties. Furthermore, the information EPCs provide benefits landlords in many ways.
Apart from calculating the current energy efficiency rate, EPCs provide detailed recommendations to enhance it and estimate total savings due to those improvements. By adding more energy efficiency measures to your property, you will be able to lower your energy bills, especially in the long term. On top of this, you will be able to increase the value of your property. Last but not least, when purchasing environment-friendly homes with a minimum EPC rate of B, house buyers can get green mortgages, which include incentives like lower rates of interest and cashback. Hence, improving the energy performance of your properties will give you huge advantages in the housing market.
Does my property need an EPC?
Typically, homes for sale or rent will need an EPC with an energy rating that meets the requirement. However, GOV UK has listed all types of buildings that do not need an EPC:
A building that is listed or officially protected and the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it.
A temporary building that is used for 2 years or less.
A building that is used as a place of worship or for other religious activities.
An industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that doesn’t use much energy.
A detached building with a total floor space under 50 square metres.
A building that is due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant planning and conservation consents.
A building that is due to be sold or rented out with vacant possession.
A building that is suitable for demolition and the site could be redeveloped.
A building whose buyer or tenant has applied for planning permission to demolish it.
How to get an EPC?
As the procedure for registering for an Energy Performance Certificate is simple, landlords can handle it by themselves or via an estate agent:
Step 1: Check the exemption list to find out if your property needs an EPC.
Step 2: Find an EPC assessor – you can look for several local assessors, read reviews about them and compare their quotes to find the best option. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, EPCs can be produced by accredited domestic energy assessors. In Scotland, only organisations with government approval can produce valid EPCs.
Step 3: Make an appointment with your assessor to take the energy test. A test will take up to one hour depending on the size of your property and will examine multiple elements: the size of your property and your heating, ventilation and insulation systems.
Step 4: Your certificate will be sent to you via email. The waiting time won’t be too long, some assessors can provide it within 24 hours after the test.
Step 5: By searching for your postcode here, you will be able to access your EPC with all the information about the energy efficiency rating, energy performance, environmental impacts, recommendations to improve the energy efficiency level, estimated energy use and savings and contact of the assessor.
What will happen at the EPC appointment?
Your assessor will examine several factors during the EPC assessment to determine the energy efficiency level at your place.
They will require access to the entire property to take photos and check the following factors:
The size of the property
The lighting system and the number of light bulbs
The type of insulation and how it’s used in all areas of the house
The heating system including active fireplaces
The type of windows you are using
The whole process will take up to around one hour depending on the size of your property.
How much does it cost to get an EPC?
Getting an EPC can cost up to £120. The exact cost varies depending on different factors: the area of your property, the kind of property (studio, 1 bed, 2 beds, 3 beds, etc.) and the type of construction of the building where your property is located.
How can I upgrade the energy performance to raise my EPC rating?
EPCs provide detailed recommendations for landlords to improve the energy performance at their properties. Overall, you can target some specific areas to upgrade:
Improve the insulation system: this would include the floor, roof, loft or wall insulation.
Upgrade your windows to double or triple glazing.
Start using green energy sources, such as solar panels.
Use low-energy light bulbs which can reduce your bills.
Replace your boiler with a new one or a heat pump to increase the energy efficiency level.
Use heating controls smartly: turning it down by just one degree can save you about £145 a year.
How can I check if my property already has an EPC?
As you can access your EPC on the government’s website, you can easily search for your postcode and find all the information about the energy efficiency level at your property.
Your EPC is saved on the website as long as it’s still valid, and each EPC can be used for up to 10 years.