Understanding your EPC rating

Get to grips with your energy rating and why it’s essential for your home.

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What is an EPC and why do you need one?

EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. It shows how energy efficient your home is. When selling your home you’re required by law to provide the certificate before it goes on the market – and it’s advisable to view the EPC of a property before you buy it.

How an EPC is rated

Energy efficiency is graded on a scale from A-G, with A being the best and therefore the most energy efficient. Your EPC will show a colour coded graph with a score:

EPC scoring:

  • A: 92+
  • B: 81 – 91
  • C: 69 – 80
  • D: 55 – 68
  • E: 39 – 54
  • F: 21 – 38
  • G: 1 – 20

Across England and Wales, the average EPC rating is D/60.

What information will you find in an EPC?

An EPC is more than just an energy rating. It provides key pieces information about the energy usage and opportunities for the property. An EPC includes:

  • Basic facts about the property, such as the address and dwelling type.
  • The date of the assessment and the date of issue.
  • The estimated energy costs covering a three-year period (including lighting, heating and hot water usage).
  • The current and potential energy efficiency rating for the property.
  • Any areas of your home where energy efficiency could be improved.
  • A general summary of the property’s energy performance features.
  • Which parts of the property release little or no carbon.
  • Information about the Green Deal.
  • The property’s heat demand.

How to get an EPC

If you’re selling your property, you’ll need an EPC before putting it on the market. When you request this, an accredited EPC assessor will survey the property in its entirety. Everything is taken into consideration, including the size of the rooms, loft insulation, window glazing, the type of heating system, construction and age of the property. The energy rating is calculated and your full report delivered.

Don’t forget to keep your EPC certificate. Each EPC is valid for 10 years from the date of issue, so put it in a safe place if you’ve just bought a property.

What to do when you see a low EPC rating?

An EPC rating is an important part of understanding a property, so what should you do when you see a low rating?

EPCs do not go into great depth. For example, they don’t take into account the number of people living in the property at the time, a factor that will affect how much energy is being used. What it does do is give you a guide to the energy efficiency of the property – and often will show you the worse-case scenario.

Remember to take into account the age of the EPC rating. It could be that there’s been some changes and updates to the format. So, if you have an old EPC, it might not list some of the areas mentioned in this article.

Adding value with a low EPC rating

A low energy rating can be a good thing if you’re looking to invest and to renovate. Improving an energy rating is a great way to add value to your home, So if you’re happy to put in the work to bring a property’s EPC rating up you could make it more valuable in the future.

When it comes to reviewing a low energy rating, it’s important to look at the potential energy rating included on the certificate. That will give you a good idea for how well the property could perform with some changes made.

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