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Buying a Home Advice: Energy Performance Certificates

30 Apr 2018

Buying a Home Advice: Energy Performance Certificates
There are a million-and-one things to think about when moving to a new home.

From location to price, school catchment areas to future values, it’s no wonder that choosing a home is one of the biggest decisions of your life. Another important factor is to consider how energy efficient a home is, especially now that environmental factors are focused on so closely.

This isn’t just something you should bear in mind, it’s something that is a law. In 2007, the government introduced the Energy Performance Certificate as a way to measure the efficiency of homes and to encourage homeowners and landlords to make energy improvements to properties.

If you’re getting ready to move into a new home, it’s likely that you have a lot of questions. Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Energy Performance Certificates.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC, contains details about a home’s energy usage and the costs that these typical usages incur. The certificate also includes suggestions about how to reduce energy usages, make a building more energy-efficient and hopefully save the new homeowner money on their utilities. An EPC will also show potential savings if energy measures are made. Typical suggestions for improving the efficiency of a home include adding cavity wall insulation, low energy lighting, or upgrading the boiler. These recommendations are not mandatory but can make a significant difference in the efficiency of a building.

Properties are rated A-G on an EPC, with A being the highest and G the lowest. The average rating of a home currently stands at D. The Energy Performance Certificate will need to be provided by an official domestic energy assessor. The property cannot be assessed by the owner or yourself and must be carried out in the proper way. An EPC is valid for 10 years.

When do I need one?

An Energy Performance Certificate is required anytime a property is sold, rented, or built. As a home buyer or renter, you will not need to obtain one for the property you are looking to purchase, as this will be the responsibility of the current homeowner/landlord or new property builder. They must issue you with the EPC otherwise they could face a fine.

However, if you are also selling your own home whilst purchasing a new one, you will be responsible for obtaining the EPC for your current property. Your estate agent should be able to point you in the direction of an official assessor, or you can search for one on your own.

Will it cost me anything?

Again, it is down to the homeowner, landlord or builder to provide this and they will be responsible for covering the charges of this. Though if you are also selling your own home as stated above, this will be your responsibility. You will need to apply for and pay the costs of the EPC, which can range from £50 - £150, depending on the provider. This is why it is worth shopping around to find an accredited assessor at the price that is right for you.