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Guide to Energy Performance Certificates

What is a Home Energy Performance Certificate, and why do you need one? 10 November 2021 by Casper Arboll

The UK Government recently launched its and Buildings Strategy, which sets out how the UK will decarbonise residential homes and commercial buildings to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

A critical component of the strategy is making homeowners aware of their home energy consumption. Currently, the easiest way to find this information is in an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). EPC’s were first used in 2007 and are now required whenever a home is built, rented or sold. But what is an EPC, how can you get one, and why do you need one? Read this blog post to find out.

What is an EPC?

An EPC is a certificate that tells you how energy efficient a building is by rating it from A (very efficient) to G (very inefficient). It contains information about how the construction of the home affects its energy usage and will tell you how expensive it is to heat your property and what its annual carbon emissions are likely to be.

Based on the information collected on the building, the EPC will recommend a range of measures to upgrade the building and make it more energy efficient. It can recommend simple changes, like insulating water tanks and pipes, through to more significant structural updates such as internal wall insulation or installing solar panels.

Why is an EPC relevant to me?

EPC’s are relevant because it’s great to know your energy use at home and save energy for the good of the planet and humanity. In addition, EPC’s are required by law whenever a home is rented, sold, or built.

Homeowners also need to be aware of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard. These regulations dictate that residential landlords are required to ensure any home they let is rated EPC E or higher. This minimum is likely to increase to a C rating by 2028 according to new Government proposals. Landlords across the UK will need to ensure they remain compliant with the rules to continue letting their homes.

Soon it could be challenging to get a mortgage for properties with inefficient EPC ratings. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have plans to make mortgage lenders report on EPC performance of the homes in their loan books. The policy proposals would also encourage lenders to bring all homes in their portfolio to EPC C by 2033. If put into action, these policies could impact the value of homes with poorer energy performance.

How can I get an EPC?

You can order an EPC assessment from an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor. The assessor will visit your property to inspect the building, analyse heating and water systems and survey the sizes of rooms, floors, corridors, windows, doors, and fireplaces. The inspection is usually performed within an hour and is valid for 10 years.