Energy performance certificates

An Energy performance certificate

This page covers Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For information about Scotland, click on Scotland in the country map.

All domestic and commercial buildings in the UK available to buy or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If you own a home, getting an energy performance survey done could help you identify ways to save money on your energy bills.

 

What are EPCs?

Much like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They let the person who will use the building know how costly it will be to heat and light, and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.

The EPC will also state what the energy efficiency rating could be if improvements are made, and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating. Even if you rent your home, some improvements noted on the EPC might be worth your while - such as switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs.

Once produced, EPCs are valid for ten years.

 

Why get an EPC?

If you're selling or renting out a domestic property or commercial building, you must get an approved Domestic Energy Assessor to produce the EPC. The EPC needs to be available to potential buyers as soon as you start to market your property for sale or rent.

If you already own your home, the process of getting an EPC produced can help you identify ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. As EPCs are valid for ten years, you will then have an accurate EPC ready if you decide to sell or rent within this period (unless you improve your home subsequently, in which case you may wish to get a fresh EPC done to include those improvements).

 

EPCs and Feed-in Tariffs

From 1 April 2012, customers in England, Wales and Scotland wishing to get payments under the government’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) for solar PV will need to be able to prove that their home has an EPC rating of band D or above to receive FITs at the standard rate. You will therefore need to be able to produce your existing EPC (as long as it is less than ten years old) or obtain a new one.

 

Who can produce Energy Reports and EPCs?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, only accredited Domestic Energy Assessors can produce valid EPCs.

If you are selling or renting your home through an estate agent, they may be able to arrange the EPC for you. 

 

Further information

For more information on EPCs in England and Wales, see the pages on EPCs at the Directgov website.

For more information on EPCs in Northern Ireland, visit the NI direct website and see the Department of Finance and Personnel office’s Guide to EPCs for dwellings.

 

Help for landlords

Until April 2015, the Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance lets you claim up to £1,500 against tax for energy-saving improvements you have made to each house or flat you rent out. Find out more at the Directgov website.

 

Save money!

You’ll be charged a lower rate of VAT when you have energy-saving work done to your house, both for the materials and equipment, and for the labour. If the house is new, you pay no VAT at all. Find out more at the HMRC website.

 

Planning a home improvement project?