Whether you’re buying or selling … get to grips with the EPC

Whether you’re about to buy or sell a property, you’ll know that there are some things you just have to do. If you’re buying, you’ll expect to pay out for a survey, solicitor’s fees and mortgage fees for starters. And if you’re selling, you’ll need to provide a HIP (Home Information Pack), and maybe use an estate agent and (definitely) a solicitor. But you’ll already know about these and be prepared for the costs to start mounting up.Selling a House


You’ll also need to provide an EPC within the HIP if you’re selling (or renting out), and you should be provided with one if you’re buying (or becoming a tenant).

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – What’s it all about?

EPCs have been around since August 2007 when they were introduced for properties with four or more bedrooms. Over time this has been extended to smaller properties.

An EPC sets out information about the energy performance of a property and shows in a coloured bar-chart how the property is performing. It also shows what the performance could be if certain items were upgraded and improvements made.

How to interpret an EPC

The EPC is designed to clearly explain, via easy to understand bar-charts and tables, the following information –

  • Energy Efficiency rating
  • Environmental Impact CO2 rating
  • Estimated energy use, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel costs of this home
  • Summary of the property’s energy performance related features
  • Recommended measures to improve the property’s energy performance

The score is determined by how well the property is insulated, the type of heating and lighting it has and its energy use, with band ‘A’ being the most efficient.

If you are a tenant or a landlord, then the EPC for the rental property must have been graded in Band ‘E’ or above. The rules will apply to new tenancies from April 2018 and for existing tenancies from April 2020.

Small document … big impact

The EPC may not look like much, or run into pages and pages, but it packs quite a punch.

As a seller, you won’t want buyers to be put off by the draughty old single glazed windows you have, or the inefficient twenty year old boiler and meagre loft insulation. And as a buyer or renter, you certainly won’t want big heating bills arriving when you’ve only just cleared all your moving-in costs.

The EPC, running to just a couple of pages or so, can be your best friend … prompting people to have a look at your energy-efficient home (or to run for the hills!) if you’re a seller, or helping you to make up your mind in taking the next step when buying – maybe for the first time.

What does an EPC cost?

An EPC isn’t as expensive as you might think. There are inspectors all over the country and prices depend on the size of the property.

The inspection only takes an hour or two and costs start as little as £45. For something that’s a requirement and which provides so much useful information, it’s hardly a King’s ransom.

If you need an EPC or any other advice about buying, selling or renting, get in touch, we’re here to set you out on the right path.