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What Is An EPC: Everything On The Energy Performance Certificate

Wondering whether EPCs are a requirement for landlords? Read our guide on how to get an EPC, what exactly an energy performance certificate is, and why and in which cases you might need to obtain it as a landlord, realtor, or tenant.

What Is an Energy Performance Certificate?

While we aim to guide you on how to get an EPC, some people might not know what they are and if they should get it or not: So, what is an EPC? An energy performance certificate, or EPC short, is a document that reports the energy efficiency of a property or building after an inspection has taken place, and also recommends the best ways to reduce the amount of energy being used by the property, making it more energy efficient.

EPCs were introduced in 2007 as a part of the Home Information Pack in order to promote sustainability. It aimed to regulate and manage energy use in residential and commercial buildings by reducing carbon emissions and implementing energy-saving measures like proper waste management, reducing the use of incandescent lights, etc. EPCs are is now a necessary requirement for all buildings going up for sale or rent in Wales, Northern Ireland, and England.

Landlords and realtors need to acquire them before renting out an apartment or selling a property. Tenants also need to see an EPC register to understand the building’s energy status better and how they can contribute to a more energy-efficient building. The only way to get an EPC is to have a Domestic Energy Assessor assess your property and issue it. You can search the assessor page on the EPC register to find accredited assessors.

The EPC register is an online database containing all of the UK’s EPCs. It is helpful for tenants trying to find the EPC certificate of a building they intend to move into. The energy performance certificate indicates a building’s energy performance with a rating from A-G. ‘A’ hereby credits the most energy efficient performance, whereas ‘G’ highlights the poorest possible performance. The minimum energy efficiency rating according to The Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations is ‘D’. New houses or properties usually have higher EPC ratings, while older buildings tend to have lower rating of ‘D’ or even ‘E’.


In this article, we’ll discuss the following:

1. Increase your building’s energy efficiency step by step

2. How to obtain an energy performance certificate

3. Costs of an energy performance certificate

4. How long an energy performance certificate is valid for

5. Who provides an energy performance certificate

6. EPC: Legal requirement or voluntary documents?

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How To Increase A Building’s Energy Efficiency

Although an energy performance certificate will recommend ways to improve your building’s electrical efficiency, it won’t ever hurt to begin by implementing preventive measures into your energy usage in order to avoid energy and fuel wastage. Some of the most common ways you can increase your building energy efficiency are:

  • Providing insulation for your floors, roof, and walls to reduce the need for heating.
  • Keep your windows double-glazed.
  • Making use of solar panels to produce greener and cheaper energy.
  • Implementing low-energy lighting by using low-energy light bulbs.
  • Unplug electrical appliances when they are not being used.
  • Install a rainwater collection system.
  • Conduct regular energy audits, for example alongside your electrical safety inspections and ask your qualified electrician for helpful tips on energy conservation.
  • e.t.c.

How Can I Get An Energy Performance Certificate?

Are you planning to rent an apartment or sell a property? Then, you’ll need to provide an energy performance certificate and other building documents before you can do so. An EPC certificate is essential and highly beneficial for landlords because it’s a document that will help you promote proper management of energy used in your building. If you have been thinking of how to get an EPC, follow the steps below to acquire an EPC smoothly.

1. Find out if your property actually needs an energy performance certificate

Before spending your money and time to obtain an EPC, you first need to make sure that you need it, as it is not a legal requirement for every landlord to obtain an EPC certificate. The following properties do not require an energy performance certificate:

  • Properties constructed to be used for only 2 years or less.
  • Properties for social gatherings like churches, schools, stadiums, etc.
  • Properties like holiday accommodations and residential buildings that won’t be used more than 4 months per year.
  • Buildings that do not consume much energy like non-residential agricultural structures and industrial sites.
  • Properties that are unsafe to occupants or visitors health.
  • Properties that are due to be demolished or abolished or abandoned without a legal owner.

2. Find an accredited domestic energy assessor

A domestic energy assessor is responsible for determining how energy efficient a building is and providing an EPC that tells the details of a building’s electrical energy performance. It’s important that you get your EPC from an accredited assessor, or else it won’t be valid. You can find certified assessors on the EPC register website.

3. Pick a good time for your property assessment

After finding an accredited assessor who has agreed to come over and assess your property, you’ll have to schedule a comfortable time for the assessment. Bear in mind that, on whichever day you schedule the assessment, you’ll need to be around to show the assessors around the property and answer any questions they might have concerning your property. Also, while scheduling a time for the assessment, keep in mind that the assessment will last for about 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of your property.

The assessors should be able to access every room and part of your property, including doors and hallways. Before allowing domestic energy assessors to start their job, it’s advisable to negotiate the price you’ll be paying for the service. Different assessors have their prices, so depending on the size of your property, you’ll need to bargain with the assessors to get a price that is comfortable for you.

4. Wait to receive your EPC in your mail

After the assessors’ inspection of your property, they will collect all the data from your property’s assessment and determine your property’s rating. Afterward, they’ll send your energy performance certificate via mail. After clarifying your EPC, you’ll need to do the following to acquire a hardcopy of your energy performance certificate:

  • Visit the website of the energy performance certificate register
  • Enter the RRN number of the EPC you just received. If you can’t find the RRN number, enter the property address, including the postcode.
  • After inputting the RRN number or property address, you’ll be shown your digital certificate copy. Then, you can save and print out your building’s energy performance certificate.

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How Much Does An Energy Performance Certificate Cost?

After finding out how to get an EPC, it won’t be unusual to be curious about how much you need to get one for your building. The price of an energy performance certificate is highly dependent on the size and structure of the building that needs the energy performance assessment.

Like every other paperwork that indicates a building’s overall condition, an assessment and proper inspection must be completed to provide a report. And the more that needs to be inspected, the more charges the building owner will have to pay. So, if you’re getting an EPC for a duplex, it will be more expensive than one for a bungalow.

However, to understand how much you’re likely to pay, budget around £72 – 120£, depending on the property’s size and any other activities that need to be done on the building.

How Long Will An EPC remain valid?

If you acquire an energy performance certificate, it will remain valid for up to 10 years before you’ll need to renew it. Within that ten years, however, you’ll be able to use the EPC multiple times as long as your energy efficiency rating is not F or G. If the energy efficiency rating of your property is low, it would be best for a landlord to improve it by all means because it is almost impossible to still find individuals in todays day and age who would want to buy a house with a low EPC rating. It’s advisable that you mention your positive EPC in a listing as a property owner looking to sell a property as this will make you more attractive to potential buyers.

Even if you acquire an energy performance certificate and end up with a low rating, you still need to renew it after implementing steps to conserve more energy. Additionally, it’s possible to renew your energy performance certificate if you’ve made any improvement in preserving your building’s energy. It doesn’t matter if it’s not been up to 10 years; landlords can always renew their EPC as long as they’re making energy-efficient improvements.

Who Is Responsible For Obtaining An Energy Performance Certificate?

Before a building is offered for sale or rent, the building’s owner or the landlord is responsible for obtaining an energy performance certificate. If a building was just newly constructed, it is up to the builder to obtain an energy performance certificate from the person who authorized the construction of the property.

Tenants, on the other hand, do not need to obtain an energy performance certificate. They only need to know what an EPC is, how it works, and demand to see it from their landlord before moving into a property for rent or sale. They can also check the energy performance ratings of the house they’re about to move into on the EPC register. After tenants see the EPC of their new home, they can decide to partake in the implementation of energy efficiency measures to save money. Tenants can decide to receive a copy of their house energy performance certificate every time it’s renewed.

According to The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, and the Building Regulations 2010, all residential and commercial buildings in the UK intended to go for sale or rent must possess an energy performance certificate. Since 2008, having an energy performance rating of at least ‘E’ has become a legal requirement for landlords and property owners looking to sell or rent. This way energy waste can be prevented and measures for more sustainability implemented.

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