Energy Performance Certificates explained
An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC, is required whenever a property is built, sold, or rented, and must be obtained before a property can be marketed for sale or rent. It gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. There are several reasons to improve EPC ratings for each property, from cutting down on everyday running costs, to assisting the achievement of a higher sale price when the time comes to sell.
New-build homes will have high EPC ratings, while older are more likely to have lower ratings. The average EPC rating for a home in the UK is D.
An EPC will list ways to improve the rating and give indicative costs. These improvements will result in savings on bills and lessen the environmental impact of the property. Common recommendations are likely to include:
- Insulation for floors, roofs, loft spaces, and walls.
- Better insulation reduces the need for heating, thereby lowering energy bills.
- Double glazing: windows keep in significantly more heat when they are double-glazed, again reducing the need for heating.
- Solar panels: these produce cheaper, greener energy.
Since 2013, listed buildings have been exempt from EPCs, provided they reach certain minimum standards for energy performance. Ironically, the best way to check whether the building meets these standards is to get an EPC.
Having an EPC rating of C or above tends to generate high interest on a property. This is because a lot of people looking to buy a house want to move in with little complications once they own the property. Rightmove claims that its data suggests buyers are willing to pay a premium to secure an energy efficient home.
The most common improvements recommended are windows being upgraded to new double glazing units and an upgrade of the central heating boiler. They could also be as seemingly insignificant as changing the lightbulbs used to a more energy efficient type.
The largest benefit to having a better EPC rating will be lower monthly costs for heating bills. Savings average around £1100 per year on energy costs by improving a property from a G to E rating. At the time of making the upgrades the cost may seem high but with the money that is expected to be saved throughout the years it is worth the extra effort!
This does not mean a property with a low EPC rating will generate less interest as there is a very active market for ‘project’ houses. There will always be someone looking to buy a house that needs upgrades/renovations. This means the owner need not necessarily invest upgrades and renovations in order to market with confidence.
With the covid 19 restrictions looking to be relaxed in the coming weeks, are YOU considering a move this Spring? With buyer demand through the roof and only a trickle of properties coming to the market, this is a marvellous time to sell quickly AND for the optimum price. If so, be sure to call Wilsons for a free open marketing valuation and all the advice you’ll need for a successful outcome.