An energy performance certificate (EPC) is now a legal requirement if you are a selling, renting or building a property in the UK.
One of the biggest costs over your life time in a property, whether you are buying or renting, is the cost of energy & heating your home or business. An EPC tells you how energy efficient your home or business (commercial EPC) is and how much it will cost to heat & light the property, what the carbon footprint is & what measures you can take to make the property more energy efficient & reduce costs and carbon output.
To get an EPC done you would need to contact an accredited energy assessor to carry out the energy survey for you. They would visit the domestic or commercial property and do a visual survey that entails noting and recording the building fabric, heating system and controls, lighting, water heating as well as glazing and roof insulation along with many other details. The certificate is then produced with the following information:
The ratings vary from Grade A (being the most efficient) to Grade G (being the least efficient). EPCs also carry ratings on energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. The performance of a property is rated in terms of the energy used per square metre of floor area; the energy efficiency based on fuel costs; and the environmental impact based on CO2 emissions. The numbered arrows show the current rating based on the existing energy performance of the property and the potential rating if the suggested improvements are implemented.
It also crucially tells buyers or renters what changes they can make to improve the efficiency of the property to reduce their bills. This could include everything from adding insulation, installing a new boiler to switching to energy-saving light bulbs as well as suggested renewables like solar heating and bio mass boilers if suitable to the property.
The idea behind an EPC is both to inform you of what you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your property, and hence save money, and also to show how attractive the property is from an energy perspective for potential buyers.
The better the rating the lower the cost of running the property.