Do you need an Energy Performance Certificate to sell a house?
Do you need an EPC to sell a house? How do you get an EPC? How much will it cost? When it comes to selling a house, you’re likely to have a lot of questions. Terms like ‘EPC’ may be unfamiliar and confusing. So, what is an EPC and why do you need one?
In this guide
- What is an EPC?
- What does EPC stand for?
- What information does an EPC contain?
- Do you need an EPC to sell a house?
- Is an EPC a legal requirement?
- Does my property have an EPC? Where can I find my current Energy Performance Certificate?
- Can you tell me how to get a copy of my EPC certificate?
- How long does an EPC last?
- Do I need to update my Energy Performance Certificate when selling my house?
- Do you need an EPC to sell a house privately?
- What does an Energy Performance Certificate assessment involve?
- How long does it take to get an EPC certificate?
- How much does an EPC cost?
- How to get an EPC certificate
- Tips on how to improve EPC rating
What is an EPC?
An EPC provides potential buyers with information about how energy efficient your home is. It will also include advice on improvements to make the home more energy efficient and therefore more affordable to run.
What does EPC stand for?
EPC is an abbreviation for Energy Performance Certificate.
What information does an EPC contain?
An EPC contains three main pieces of information about a home: its energy rating, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel cost estimates.
Both energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions are given a score of 1 to 100, which equates to a letter grading of A-G. A is the best rating, G is the lowest. The higher the score, the more energy efficient the property is.
The EPC report will look at several areas of your property:
- Walls and wall insulation: Are cavity walls filled? Do solid walls have extra internal or external insulation on them?
- Roofs: Is the roof flat or pitched? Is there sufficient insulation in the loft?
- Windows: Are windows double glazed?
- Heating: Is the boiler old or new? Do radiators have thermostatic radiator valves?
- Hot water: How is water heated? How well is the hot water cylinder insulated?
- Secondary heating: Does the home have any other heating sources, such as fireplace or wood burning stove?
- Lighting: What proportion of lightbulbs are energy efficient?
The report will then highlight any home improvements in those areas that would increase the energy efficiency score.
Do you need an EPC to sell a house?
An EPC is required whenever a property is built, sold or rented. You need to have a current EPC in place before you put your house on the market.
Is an EPC a legal requirement?
Yes, EPCs have been a legal requirement since 2007.
There are some exceptions where an EPC is not required. These include:
- Listed buildings
- Holiday accommodation that will be used for less than 4 months each year
Does my property have an EPC? Where can I find my current Energy Performance Certificate?
You can check whether a property has a current EPC by searching on the government website.
Can you tell me how to get a copy of my EPC certificate?
If the property has a valid EPC listed on the government website, you can email a copy or print it for free.
How long does an EPC last?
An EPC is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. It can be used multiple times in that 10-year period, so you won’t necessarily need to get a new one to sell your property.
Do I need to update my Energy Performance Certificate when selling my house?
Not necessarily. If your property has a valid EPC, you won’t need to update it, but you will need to make a copy of the certificate available to prospective buyers.
You may wish to have a new EPC assessment if you have carried out significant home improvements during your ownership that are likely to have had a significant impact on the home’s energy efficiency. You can choose to do this even if you already have a current EPC for the property.
The more energy efficient your property is, the lower utility bills are likely to be. A higher energy efficiency rating will make your home more attractive to potential buyers, so it’s worth redoing if you think the property’s rating may have improved.
Do you need an EPC to sell a house privately?
Yes, an EPC is required for any legal property sale, regardless of whether it is a private sale or through an estate agent.
What does an Energy Performance Certificate assessment involve?
When an EPC assessor visits your home, they will look at a number of different areas. This means they’ll need access to the whole property.
As part of their assessment, they will look at:
- The age of your property
- How it is constructed
- The size of your property
- What insulation your property has, where and how much
- What type of lighting your property uses (energy efficient bulbs etc)
- How your home is heated – primary source of heating and any secondary sources eg. fires, log burners etc
- How water is heated in the home
- Any renewable energy sources eg. solar panels
What type of windows your property has (single glazing, double glazing etc)
How long does it take to get an EPC certificate?
You can usually arrange for an assessor to visit your home with around a week’s notice. Once the assessment has been carried out, you should have access to the EPC certificate in a couple of days.
How much does an EPC cost?
EPC assessments typically cost between £35 and £120. The cost will depend on a number of factors, including the size and location of the property.
How to get an EPC certificate
If you need a new EPC certificate for your property, you can search the database of accredited assessors and start the process here.
If you are selling your property with an estate agent, the EPC might be something they manage as part of their service. Speak to your agent to find out.
Tips on how to improve EPC rating
An EPC takes a snapshot of your property’s energy efficiency at a specific moment in time, so it’s important that you do anything you can to improve it before the assessment is carried out.
These are some of the quickest and cheapest ways you can improve your home’s energy efficiency.
New light bulbs
Make sure you’re using energy efficient lightbulbs throughout your home. This is a quick, easy and cost-efficient way to improve your home’s EPC score in just an hour or two.
Loft insulation is another quick way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. It’s estimated that a quarter of your home’s heat is lost through the roof without insulation, so adding insulation (or additional insulation if you already have a small amount) will have a big impact on your energy bills and EPC rating.
If you’re willing to invest a little more time and money into improving your home’s energy efficiency – either to sell it or to benefit from lower bills yourself – these are some of the bigger home improvements you might want to consider.
A new boiler
Boilers become less efficient with age, so it might be worth considering investing in a new one if you want to improve the energy efficiency of your home. A new boiler will cost around £4,000, including parts and labour, so it’s not a small investment, but could make a big difference to the warmth of your home and will improve your house’s EPC.
Consider new double glazed windows
Double glazed windows need to be replaced every 15-20 years. If your current windows are older than that, they’re unlikely to be as energy efficient as they could be. Although it’s a large financial outlay, new energy efficient windows can have a big impact on your bills and carbon emissions.
Renewable energy sources
Installing renewable energy sources at your property is a big positive for an EPC rating. Solor panels, air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps can all significantly reduce the environmental impact of your home.
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