What is an EPC?
If you are new to the property market – buying or letting – there are an abundance of things you are told to consider which you’ve probably never even heard of. It can be a stressful, overwhelming time, which unfortunately some agencies and companies can take advantage of. From new laws to mortgages, it is important to stay involved in current property news to make sure you are aware of all that estate agent jargon. Latest statistics can be informative on changes to prices and procedures in the letting market; for example in the 12 months leading up to August 2013, rental prices increased in all English regions, but London rising the most by 1.9%. Therefore, if you are on a fixed budget you would know to search outside of the London region.
This blog is going to tell you all you need to know about an EPC – what it stands for, who needs one and how to get one.
What exactly is it?
EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. It is designed to give truthful information about a property’s energy usage and costs, and how to reduce those usages and costs. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency grading, and rates from A –G. A acts as the most efficient, and G declares least efficient. Once an EPC is issued, it is valid for 10 years.
Who needs one?
Every property that is built, sold or rented needs an EPC. Before a property is marketed for sale or for rent, an EPC should have been ordered and issued. This is done by accredited assessor, who will assess the entire property and issue the certificate. In Scotland, it is also necessary to display to EPC somewhere in the house, for example in the boiler or meter cupboard. If you are renting a property, it is the landlord’s or letting agent’s responsibility to ensure the property has an EPC, and they could be fined if found not to have one. They must show you the EPC, and the same goes for buyers – the person selling the house must allow you to see the EPC. This lets you consider important information about the bills you will be expecting if you live in that property.
There are certain buildings that don’t need an Energy Performance Certificate. However, it is unlikely you will ever be living in one of these properties:
· Listed buildings
· Places of worship
· Temporary buildings planned to be used for less than 2 years
· Residential buildings intended to be used for less than 4 months a year
· Holiday accommodation that is rented out for less than 4 months a year