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An ABC of EPC’s

Shedding some light if you’re in the dark.

As a general rule, an Energy Performance Certificate is required every time a home is put up for sale or for rent. So, a newly constructed home will have one, a landlord will need one to show potential tenants, and a seller must have one to show to potential buyers. There are a few exceptions. You don’t need one for a room that’s being rented out by a resident landlord and listed buildings may also be exempt as they can’t have upgrades like double glazing.

The requirement for an EPC has been the law since 2008 (2009 in Scotland), meaning that if your home has been let or sold since then it should have one. They remain valid for 10 years. There’s a national register of EPCs, unless you’ve opted out, where you can take a look at your property’s previous certificates (as well as viewing similar properties in your neighbourhood for a comparison of how energy efficient your home is).

You should never be charged for an EPC when you’re looking to buy or rent, it should be handed over free of charge — otherwise the seller or landlord could be fined £200. If you’re a landlord or seller, you’ll need to at least get this certificate ordered before you put the property on the market (you may be able to use the EPC given to you when you bought the property if it’s still valid).

If you’re interested in the energy performance of your existing home, and don’t match the eligibility criteria mentioned above, there is nothing stopping you from getting one commissioned for your home for personal use – but you will have to pay for it.

There’s no fixed fee for an EPC, it depends on a number of factors including what kind of property you live in and how many bedrooms it has. EPC prices average around £100 in the Taunton area and the certificate itself will look a bit like the multi-coloured sticker that you get on new household appliances.

A section of your EPC will be dedicated to how energy efficient your property is. It’s graded from A to G, with A meaning an energy efficient, well-insulated, probably modern home, and G meaning a draughty old building where the wind rattles the walls. There will also be a number from 1 – 100, where a higher number signifies that the home is more efficient and the fuel bills will cost less. Your EPC will give an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power your home. Details are also listed on potential savings that could be made should you improve the energy efficiency of your household running costs.

An accredited domestic energy assessor will need to issue you with your EPC, it’s not something you can do by yourself.  At Wilsons we have a number of highly efficient assessors we can call upon. If you don’t understand something on your certificate or you disagree with it, the first place to go is back to the energy assessor who performed the task – if he’s one of ours, he’ll be only too pleased to explain and advise.

If there’s more anyone would like to know or if you’re planning a sale in the near future and would like to have your Certificate prepared in advance, call us on 01823 324324 and we’ll put you in touch with one of our tried and trusted assessors

By Chris Willey

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