Energy Performance Certificates: an overview

Energy Performance Certificates, also known as EPCs, are something that nearly all landlords need to have.

But what exactly are they, and what do you need to know about them? Here is a guide to what you need to know.

EPCs grade your building

EPCs are part of Home Information Packs (HIP). While HIPs are now defunct, having an EPC is still a legal requirement.  These grade buildings in two different ways:


  • the efficiency of the building, including its running costs in terms of the energy it consumes;
  • its environmental impact in terms of how much CO2 it emits.

The property receives two ratings for these, both of which are from A to G, with A being the best rating.

Who needs an EPC?

If you own a property that you are going to let out, you need an EPC, and if you own a property that you are planning to sell, you also need one.

These are the main situations, but there are others and you can check these on the website. Just like landlord insurance, it is one of the important things that a landlord requires, so make sure you know whether you need one or not.


Who does not need one?

Not everyone needs an EPC, which is why it is always worth finding out in advance. For example, you may not need one if:


  • the building will only be used for two years or less;
  • it is detached and is smaller than 50 square metres;
  • it is a place of worship.

What else do you need to know?

There are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to EPCs. These include:


  • if you own a flat within a building, you need one for the flat, and if you own numerous flats, you need one for each flat. It does not work on the basis of one per building;


  • when you buy a property, if it already has an EPC from the previous landlord, you can use this until it expires;


  • EPCs last for 10 years, and even if you renovate the property during that time, the EPC is still valid;


  • when you advertise the property to let or to sell, you must display your EPC. You must also provide a copy for free to your tenants;


  • if you do not show it to a tenant or a buyer, penalties can be large, ranging from £500 to £5,000 depending on your building's value.


How to get your EPC

If you do need an EPC, you must get it through a commercial energy assessor, so make sure you find someone qualified. There are different types of assessors, and the one you need will vary depending on the type of building and its feature.


Make sure you have an EPC if you need one

Most landlords require an EPC, so make sure you sort it out as early as possible. They are not usually expensive, and they are often easy to arrange. What's more, because they last for 10 years, you won't have to worry about it again for a long time.

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