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What is an EPC and how long will it be valid for?

Two common questions we are asked are ‘What is an EPC? and How long will it be valid for?

What is an EPC?

An EPC checks the energy performance of a property. It has 7 categories: A-G . “A” represents the most energy efficient property and decreases to “G” representing the least energy efficient property. It must be carried out by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor. It will also show a building’s environmental impact by showing its carbon dioxide emissions. The assessor looks at many factors such as the wall, floor and roof insulation and boiler efficiency. It also looks at the type of light bulbs are in use. All EPCs can be found on the national register accessible here.

If you are selling your house or flat, you will need to get an energy performance certificate (EPC) to confirm how energy-efficient your property is. An EPC is also required for properties rented to tenants.

How Often Does an EPC Need to Be Done?

How often you need to have an EPC carried out will depend on whether you own, are selling, buying, or renting the property. If you are renting or purchasing a property, it is the responsibility of the landlord or the seller to arrange the EPC, however, it’s important that you see and understand the certificate provided.

Sellers EPC and:

It is legally required to get an EPC for your home before selling it. You can do this directly with an EPC provider or through your estate agent.

Buyers and EPC:

The current homeowner or seller is responsible for arranging the EPC. Ensure that you receive an EPC from the seller when you purchase the home. You can use the recommendations included in the certificate to negotiate the property price or when renovating the property in the future.

Landlords and EPC:

If you are a landlord, it is legally required for your property to have an EPC rating of at least E before you can renew an existing rental contract or move a new tenant in. This applies to all properties with or without existing tenancies.

Tenants and EPC:

You should ensure that your landlord sends you a copy of the EPC before you move into the property or renew your rental contract.

Looking Up an EPC Validity and EPC Expiry Date:

You can look up an EPC using the EPC register, the government’s online database of every EPC in the UK. The register can be used to search for and find a property’s energy performance certificate by postcode or to find an energy assessor to get an EPC for a property before selling or renting it to tenants.

How Long Does an EPC Take and How Much Do They Cost?

EPCs can cost up to £120, however, the majority of properties will usually pay a much smaller fee. There is no benefit to choosing a more expensive energy provider if you need to get an EPC for your home, so it’s worth shopping around to ensure that you’re getting the best deal. You can usually save money by going directly to an energy assessor rather than arranging an EPC through your estate agent, although many people are willing to pay more for the convenience.

An EPC assessment will usually take between twenty and sixty minutes depending on the size of your home. It will be carried out by an accredited and qualified Domestic Energy Assessor who will take note of several factors including the construction and size of your home, the lighting, heating system and controls, and your home’s insulation if applicable. The assessor will need to get access to every room in the property, including your loft space where possible.

Potential EPC Recommendations:

An EPC will provide a list of potential options for improving your property’s rating with an idea of costs. Common recommendations include:

  • Double glazing windows, which keep significantly more heat in the property
  • Insulation for the walls, floor, roof, or loft to reduce the need for extra heating
  • Energy-saving light bulbs and other low-energy lighting options
  • Solar panels that are fitted to the roof to produce greener, cheaper energy from the sun

How long will it be valid for? A valid EPC will last for 10 years and can be used for multiple tenancies within that period. This is only possible if the rating is not F or G. This is because from 1st April 2018 any property must have a minimum EPC rating of E or higher. A new EPC should be arranged for a rental property as soon as an existing certificate expires to maintain a valid EPC at all times.

How Long Does An EPC Certificate Last?

EPCs were first introduced in England and Wales in 2007, so if your home has not been checked by an energy assessor since then and you are selling or renting out your property, you may need to get a new one. You can use the EPC register to check. You are also free to get a new EPC for your home at any time if you have made energy efficient improvements such as getting insulation, double glazing, or updating the electrical system and want to check if it has made a positive improvement to the overall rating before selling or renting out your property. Bear in mind that a more energy-efficient rating could improve the value of your home, so it’s definitely worth getting a new EPC in this case.

EPC and Listed Buildings:

Listed buildings have not needed EPCs since 2013 as long as they achieve minimum standards for energy performance. However, you can still get an EPC for your listed building if you wish to check. Listed buildings must have an E rating or above before they are sold or rented out.

EPC Rules in Scotland:

If you are selling a property in Scotland, you will need to get a Home Report which includes an EPC, a property questionnaire and a house survey. You can find a list of EPC-approved organisations to carry out the Home Report at the Scottish government website. You will also be required to display the EPC somewhere in your property.

If you are a London Landlord and would like Greater London Properties to organise an EPC on your behalf, please give us a call today on 0207 734 4062 and we would be happy to help. We also offer Free Property Valuations.

We hope this answers your questions ‘what is an EPC?’ and ‘How long it will be valid for?’.  If you are looking to rent a property in Central London, please visit Greater London Properties, Central London’s largest independent estate agent or call us on 0207 113 1066.


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