An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) tells you exactly how energy efficient a property is, providing it with a rating from A (very efficient) to G (not very efficient). They are essential when it comes to selling your home or renting out commercial property, but when this is the case, how exactly do you go about organising an EPC of your home or business premises?
How to get an EPC
In order to get an EPC, the building you wish to sell or rent must be assessed by a suitably qualified assessor. You should check before they carry out the assessment that they are accredited. Accreditations are provided by the government to prove that assessors are qualified to carry out the inspection and that you will receive an accurate assessment.
To find an inspector, you can use the handy search tool on the government website. You simply state the type of property being assessed (domestic or non-domestic) and put in your postcode. You’ll then be provided with a list of accredited assessors in your local area.
Alternatively, an estate agent can source an assessor for you to carry out the necessary checks. The results are usually included on their website when the property goes on the market.
How is an EPC done?
As an EPC shows how energy efficient a property is, the assessor will go to the property and look at things that could impact how well it retains heat as well as the type and age of the central heating system. They will also likely look at all the forms of insulation within the property, including cavity wall, floor and loft insulation, the boiler, the hot water tank, the radiators, the doors and windows (looking for double glazing or faulty seals that could be allowing heat to escape), and more. They may even count the air vents in the property. They’ll take solar panels into consideration too, as these can reduce your home or business’ electricity usage and make it more efficient.
Once they’ve made a note of all this information, the assessor can put it into a programme that then uses the data to produce a score. Not only do you find out how efficient your home is, but you’ll also be provided with a score that shows how efficient it could be if you put some measures in place to decrease the risk of heat loss.
In a home that has double or even triple glazing, a good amount of insulation, solar panels and efficient radiators, it’s likely that the rating will come back as C or above. A property that has an old boiler system, single glazing and very little insulation, it will likely come back as below C.
Can I get a copy of my EPC?
You should automatically receive a copy of your EPC from the assessor or your estate agent, depending on how you went about booking the assessment in. This will usually be given as a PDF so you can save it or print it for later use. Alternatively, you may be able to find a copy online.
Where can I get a copy of my EPC?
If you live in England or Wales, you should be able to get a copy of your EPC from the EPC Register and if you live in Scotland, you could retrieve it from the Scottish EPC Register. However, in order to get a copy, you will need to know the Report Reference Number (RRN) that can be found on the front page of your EPC. If you have your original, this won’t be an issue, but if you have lost an EPC, you may not be able to get a copy in this way. For an assessment that was carried out by an accredited assessor, you may be able to contact them to either find the RRN or to get a copy of the certificate.
How long is an EPC valid for?
An EPC is valid for 10 years. When it runs out, you do not need to get a new one unless you plan to sell or rent out your home or business property or are building a home. An EPC is only required in these circumstances and so it’s fine to let your EPC expire.
In some cases, you might want a new EPC after carrying out considerable renovations, such as installing double glazing or solar panels, for example. After such alterations, you may be interested to see what the new rating is and how they have improved the efficiency of your home. This is fine, however it is not a legal requirement and so you do not need to renew your EPC after such changes.
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