As a general rule, if you want to sell your house, you will need to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place. There are, however, a few occasions where an EPC will not be necessary to sell your property.
EPCs help to tell prospective buyers about the energy efficiency and potential running costs of a property. They also highlight any potential improvements that could be made along with the cost and potential savings such improvements will bring.
What Is An EPC?
If you are looking to purchase a property, one thing you’ll come across sooner or later is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). But, what is an Energy Performance Certificate exactly?
EPCs were introduced in 2007 as part of the Home Information Packs (HIPs) for properties with four bedrooms or more. This was then extended to include smaller properties too.
Although the requirement for Home Information Packs was removed in 2010, most properties listed for sale or rent MUST still have a valid EPC.
This is a legal requirement and is the responsibility of the property owner.
Who Needs An EPC?
As we mentioned, almost everyone who wants to sell a property in the UK is required by law to hold a valid EPC for their property. You will also need one if you are building or renting out a property. There are, however, a few notable exceptions.
You do NOT need an EPC if the building is:
- A temporary building that will be used for no longer than 2 years
- A small stand-alone building with a total ‘useful’ floor space of less than 50 square metres
- Due to be demolished
- Holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
- A listed building
- A residential building intended to be used less than 4 months a year
There are also a couple of other buildings such as places of worship and agricultural buildings that do not need an EPC. You can check the current list on the Government website.
You also will not need an EPC if your property still has a valid certificate in place. This can happen if you bought the property fairly recently as certificates are issued to a property, not an owner, and therefore are transferable even when the property changes ownership.
Need An EPC For A Property?
You don’t have to use your estate agent to get an EPC, in fact, you might be able to get a cheaper deal by going direct to an EPC provider.
We recommend one of the biggest, most popular EPC providers who provide nationwide coverage with local assessors. They’re priced competitively and, in many cases, are the same company your estate agent will use anyway.
So, why not cut out the middle man and secure the best price? Click the button below to get started.
When we sold our last home, there was still a valid EPC in place as we sold it after five years. Because we didn’t carry out any work that would change the EPC rating, it wasn’t necessary to get a new one.
This was great, because it saved us some money, which is always a good thing. So we would recommend that you check if your house had a valid EPC in place, before arranging for one.
Our own research has shown that just over a third of homeowners definitely need an EPC while a further 26% weren’t sure. That means, there’s a reasonable chance you will need one, but also a reasonable chance you won’t!
How Long Is An EPC Valid For?
An EPC is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. As EPCs were first introduced in 2007, that means the very first ones to be issued began to expire in 2017.
If you bought your property in the last 10 years, the chances are it will still have a valid EPC in place. You can check the official EPC register to see if your property is covered and view your certificate.
Remember, EPCs are issued for the property, not the owner, so even if you didn’t get the EPC carried out, you can still use the certificate when selling your home, if it’s valid.
How Much Does An EPC Cost?
Typically, you’ll be looking at between £70 and £100 to have an EPC carried out, although it can be a little more or less depending on who you use.
All EPCs are equal though, you don’t get more by using a more expensive service, so generally the cheaper, the better. That is, of course, providing the company is reliable and an accredited assessor.
Most estate agents will offer to carry out an EPC for you when you instruct them. All of the online estate agents we feature, for instance, offer such a service.
You do not have to use your selling agent to get your EPC, but often, it’s the easiest option.
When we sold our first home we needed to have an EPC done and so we simply used the service our estate agent offered. For one thing, it meant they organised it all, we just had to arrange access when they needed it.
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Who Carries Out An EPC?
To carry out an EPC, you need to be an accredited assessor. Therefore, it’s not something you can do yourself.
Most estate agents will have relationships with accredited assessors in your area, and they will arrange for your EPC to be conducted on your behalf.
However, if you prefer to go direct and find your own assessor, you can use the official EPC website for properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or the official EPC register for properties in Scotland.
What Does An EPC Cover?
An Energy Performance Certificate shows how a property performs in terms of energy efficiency. It will detail which energy saving measures (such as triple glazing, wall insulation, solar panels, etc) are already in place and the expected energy costs of the building under normal usage.
The EPC will also make recommendations for further energy saving measures that could be implemented, the expected cost of such measures, and the anticipated energy savings.
Finally, the property will be given an energy efficiency grade between A (most efficient) and G (least efficient). That means prospective buyers can see at a glance how energy efficient the property is.
With the recent energy crisis and high energy bills, EPCs are becoming more important. People want to make sure the house they buy won’t cost them a fortune in energy.
We would recommend that if you are planning to sell your house, to look at your EPC and check what recommendations are given. Are there any that you could afford to implement that would make a big difference?
If you can, get an updated one that includes all the changes you made. People have become more conscious of things like energy efficiency, so it will pay to get the highest score you can.
Since moving in to our current home we have added more solar panels, a home battery, and a changing our heating system from oil to a heat pump. These changes should all help to boost our EPC score the next time we move house.
So, do you need an EPC to sell your house? The above information should help you answer that question, but in most cases, the answer will be yes. But, be sure to check whether your property still has a valid certificate in place before paying an accredited assessor.