What is an EPC? – A guide for landlords

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A guide on EPC

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a crucial document that provides valuable information about a property’s energy efficiency.

As a landlord, it’s essential to understand what an EPC is, why it’s important, and how it can impact your rental property.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about EPCs, from the basics to the latest regulations and requirements.

What does the term EPC mean?

EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate.

It is a document that assesses and rates a property’s energy efficiency on a scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

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The certificate includes information about the property’s energy use, carbon dioxide emissions, and recommendations for improving its energy performance.

How to check what the EPC rating of your home is

To check your property’s EPC rating, you can visit the official EPC register website and enter your property’s postcode. Here is what the EPC certificate will look like don’t he government website:

EPC certificate from the government

If an EPC has been issued for your property within the last 10 years, you will be able to download a copy of the certificate from the same site.

Data on the average energy performances in the uk

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, the average EPC rating for properties in England and Wales is D.

In 2020, approximately 40% of properties had an EPC rating of D according to this source, while 34% had a rating of E or below. Only 3% of properties achieved an A or B rating, highlighting the need for widespread energy efficiency improvements.

How do you read an Energy Performance certificate (EPC)?

An EPC consists of several key sections:

Energy efficiency rating: This is the property’s overall energy efficiency rating, ranging from A to G.

Environmental impact rating: This rating shows the property’s impact on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

Estimated energy costs: This section provides an estimate of the property’s annual energy costs for lighting, heating, and hot water.

Energy performance summary: This section details the property’s current energy performance for key elements such as walls, roof, windows, and heating system.

Recommendations for improvement: The EPC includes a list of recommended measures to improve the property’s energy efficiency, along with estimated costs and potential savings.

When were EPCs introduced?

EPCs were first introduced in England and Wales in 2007 as part of the Home Information Pack (HIP) for residential properties.

A property with an EPC in it

In 2008, the requirement for HIPs was removed, but EPCs remained mandatory for properties being sold or rented. Since then, EPC regulations have been updated and expanded to cover more types of properties and to encourage greater energy efficiency.

What should landlords know about EPC ratings?

Landlords should know about the EPC ratings of their properties so they’re aware of the living conditions of their tenants and how they can improve on the electricity bills that are paid every month. However, an EPC is not mandatory all of the time.

When is an EPC mandatory?

An EPC is mandatory whenever a property is built, sold, or rented.

Landlords must provide a valid EPC to potential tenants at the earliest opportunity, and the EPC rating must be included in any property advertisement. Failure to provide an EPC when required can result in penalties and fines.

What is a new build EPC?

A new build EPC is a certificate that is issued for newly constructed properties. These EPCs are based on the property’s design and specifications, rather than an assessment of the completed building.

New build EPCs are valid for 10 years, after which a new EPC must be obtained based on an assessment of the finished property.

Changes to EPC regulations in 2025

From April 2025, all newly rented properties will be required to have an EPC rating of C or above.

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This means that landlords with properties rated D or below will need to make energy efficiency improvements before they can be rented out to new tenants.

Changes to EPC regulations in 2027

By 2027, all rented properties, including existing tenancies, will need to have an EPC rating of C or above. Landlords will have until April 2027 to make the necessary improvements to their properties, or they may face penalties and be unable to continue renting out their properties.

Selling or renting your property? What should you do?

Renting

If you are planning to rent out your property, you must ensure that you have a valid EPC with a minimum rating of E (unless your property is exempt). From April 2025, this minimum rating will be raised to C for new tenancies, and by 2027, all rented properties will need to meet this standard.

To prepare for these changes, landlords should:

  • Check their property’s current EPC rating
  • Identify any energy efficiency improvements that can be made
  • Plan and budget for necessary upgrades
  • Obtain a new EPC once improvements have been completed

selling

If you are selling your property, you must provide a valid EPC to potential buyers. While there is no minimum EPC rating required for selling a property, a higher rating can make your property more attractive.

Get more information on improving your EPC rating as a landlord

Environmentally conscious buyers may like a higher rating and even tenants who do not are aware that an EPC has an impact on the energy bills that they will pay every month.

What you should expect to see on your EPC after an assessment?

After the assessment, the energy assessor will produce an EPC that includes:

  • The property’s current energy efficiency and environmental impact ratings
  • Estimated energy costs for lighting, heating, and hot water
  • A breakdown of the property’s energy performance by key elements (walls, roof, windows, etc.)
  • Recommendations for improving the property’s energy efficiency, along with estimated costs and potential savings
A kitchen with a good EPC rating

The EPC will be valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

Who can carry out an EPC?

Only accredited Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) can carry out EPCs for residential properties. These assessors have completed specific training and are registered with an approved accreditation scheme and make sure that the EPC is uploaded to the EPC register

Go to our pages on understanding the EPC register to learn more

When choosing an energy assessor, ensure they are properly accredited and have experience in assessing properties similar to yours.

How much does an EPC cost?

The cost of an EPC can vary depending on factors such as the property’s size, location, and the assessor’s fees.

On average, an EPC for a residential property costs between £60 and £120. It’s essential to shop around and compare quotes from multiple accredited assessors to ensure you’re getting a fair price for the service.

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