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Saving energy at home

Guide to Energy Performance Certificates

What are Energy Performance Certificates?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC certificate) will tell you how energy efficient a property is and gives it a rating. It could help you buy a home that wastes less energy whilst showing you the potential impact on your pocket and the environment. If you're looking to improve your home or property it also has a range of energy efficient ideas to consider. EPC certificates are valid for 10 years from the date the report is produced.

How do EPC ratings work?

Could an EPC save me money?

How could an EPC help me improve my home?

How do I get an EPC? How much does it cost?

Should I buy a home with a low EPC rating?

How EPC certificates work and how to get one

How do EPC certificate ratings work?

The aim of an EPC certificate is to help you better understand the energy performance of your home or property.

An EPC certificate will rate a home or property’s energy efficiency using a scale from 1 – 100 and giving each band a letter. ‘A’ is a score of 92 – 100, meaning the property is very efficient and has lower running costs. 

At the bottom of the scale is ‘G,’ with a score of 1 – 20, meaning it’s not energy efficient and has higher running costs. An EPC certificate could help you compare properties you might be looking at, so make sure you ask to see one if you're buying a new home.

Could an EPC certificate save me money?

As a home buyer, an EPC certificate will give you an idea of what it might cost to heat and light your home. It could also help you understand how much to budget for each year. 

The figures an EPC certificate provides for energy use and potential savings are estimates for a typical household in that property – it won't take account of your current energy use.

How could an EPC certificate help me improve my home?

A big benefit of an EPC certificate is that it also includes a range of ideas that could help you to improve the energy efficiency of your home or property. From switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, upgrading the quality of the insulation or installing solar panels.

Each idea provided has an indicative cost, the potential saving, and what it could mean for your energy rating. So, whether you're buying, selling or just want to improve the energy efficiency of your home or property, an EPC certificate could help you decide which improvements offer the best value for your budget.

How do I get an EPC certificate?

Homeowners and landlords will need to request an EPC certificate for a property they are selling or renting in the UK, and they must show it to you. Estate agents or letting agents should ensure there’s a valid EPC certificate for any property they're selling or letting on behalf of a client.

Can I get an EPC certificate online?

Although you can request a new EPC online, it is a physical survey, so an accredited assessor will need to visit the property to carry out the survey. 

You can also find out if a home or property already has an EPC certificate online too, just be sure to follow the correct process for England, Wales, Northen Ireland or Scotland.

How much does an EPC certificate cost?

It can typically cost between £60 and £120 to get your property on the EPC register. This will vary, so it is worth comparing a few different quotes — but make sure your assessor is registered.

Getting an assessment done directly rather than through an estate agent can help reduce the cost too.

How long is an EPC certificate valid for?

EPC certificates are valid for 10 years from the date it was produced.  There are some exclusions, such as listed buildings but it’s needed in most cases. 

Should I buy a home with a low EPC rating?

It’s a personal choice, but the higher the score the less you could spend on bills and the lower your carbon footprint - better for your pocket and the climate. 

If your heart is set on a home with a lower rating, you could also consider making home energy saving improvements.

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