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FAQs: Energy Performance Certificates

This handy FAQ covers everything potential buyers need to know about the Energy Performance Certificates, also known as EPCs, and why they're so important.

When were they introduced?

They were first introduced in England and Wales in August 2007, originally as part of a Home Information Pack to provide information of the energy efficiency of homes with four or more bedrooms. These circumstances were updated in 2007 to include three bedroom homes, and in 2010 when Home Information Packs ceased to exist, EPCs continued as a legitimate and mandatory document needed for both rentals and purchasable properties.

Who makes them?

It's the responsibility of Domestic or Commercial Energy Assessors to provide these certificates, based on reports they've made after visiting the property and assessing certain factors, including insulation and electrical usage. Once they've visited, they then input their findings into a software program to calculate the rating of the property based on the impact it has on the environment. These officials also undertake intensive Green Deal courses to ensure that they the knowledge they base their reports on is as up to date as possible and in accordance to government legislation. 

What does the rating scale suggest?

The rating scale is based on the alphabet, with an A rating determining that a property is energy efficient, through to G, which a G rating indicating that the property performs poorly. The scale is also colour-coded and has a separate column to demonstrate its potential score if relevant changes are made to the property, e.g. loft insulation or install devices to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.

What's the rating of most homes?

The average rating of a UK home is an E, but this varies by region. In the North East for example, 20% of homes are rated G to E, whereas in the East Midlands 16% of homes have an A or B rating.

How important are they?

In a market where a property with an A rating receives an extra £16,000 to its price, EPCs act as a major selling point for homes and offices across the UK. They're also important in raising awareness of energy emissions in a society aware of global warming implications, which now need to be considered when evaluating properties.

When will I need one?

EPCs need to be provided in the instance that a property is built, sold or rented, so that it informs potential buyers and tenants of the building's energy efficiency well in advance.

Can I make these certificates myself?

No, only a trained assessor can create the certificates, however there are many Green Deal training options available to those who would like a career in energy assessment.


posted on: 21 Nov 2013

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