What's an EPC rating?
An EPC rating, or Energy Performance Certificate rating, gives you a general idea of how energy-efficient your property is. Here's what you need to know.
The EPC rating varies from A-G, with A being the best.
When viewing a property, always ask to see the EPC before making an offer. If you're selling, you're required by law to provide the certificate before putting your house on the market.
What information does an EPC contain?
- Key facts about the property, such as the address and dwelling type
- The date of the assessment and the date of issue for the certificate itself
- The estimated energy costs for a three-year period (including lighting, heating and hot water)
- Parts of the home where energy efficiency could be improved
- The current and potential energy efficiency rating for the property in question
- A summary of the property's energy performance features
- Parts of the property that release little or no carbon
- Information about the Green Deal
- The property's heat demand
What are the EPC ratings?
As mentioned, EPC ratings range from A-G, with A being the most energy-efficient score possible.
The rating is shown in a graph with a score of 1-100:
- A: 92+
- B: 81 - 91
- C: 69 - 80
- D: 55 - 68
- E: 39 - 54
- F: 21 - 38
- G: 1 - 20
The average EPC rating in England and Wales is D/60.
How is an EPC rating determined?
You'll need an accredited EPC assessor to determine the EPC rating of your property. They'll survey the whole home, including the loft, taking note of things like the size of the rooms, the general construction, insulation, lighting, window glazing thickness, heating systems and so on.
Should you reconsider buying a property if it has a poor EPC rating?
The EPC rating should definitely play a part when deciding whether or not to buy a property.
If it's pretty bad, but you love other aspects of the home, you could always apply a bit of elbow grease and make improvements (if you can afford them).
Improving the energy efficiency of your home is also a great way potentially to add value, so if you're looking to invest, you could think of a poor EPC rating as a good thing.
If you're reviewing old and new EPC certificates the format has changed so you might not see all the features called out in this article in an older version.
Remember - EPCs do not take into account the number of people living in the property at the time, and EPC assessors don't go into great depth. This means that the EPC rating they could come up with will usually be the worst-case scenario.
With this is mind, as long as the potential energy efficiency rating is good enough, and you're able to make some improvements in time, there's no reason you shouldn't invest. Unless, of course, something better comes along!
Side-note: Don't forget to hold on to the property's EPC if you do opt to buy it! Each EPC is valid for a period of ten years from the date of issue.