An EPC rating is similar to the energy efficiency rating of a modern appliance.
It is included on an Energy Performance Certificate, not only to demonstrate a property’s energy efficiency, but quickly assess energy bills and can be helpful for renters, would-be homeowners, and those looking to move home.
The rating itself is based on the amount of energy used and the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, but there is more information included that can prove really useful.
In this guide, we will look at what an EPC is, what an EPC rating is, why it is important, and how you can improve it.
What An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Is
An Energy Performance Certificate is also known as an EPC and instructs you on how energy efficient a building or property is.
This can be an office building or your home and the rating will be from A for very efficient, to G for inefficient.
The certificate also helps by indicating how expensive it will be to effectively heat and light up the building or property. An EPC will also give you an estimation of the carbon dioxide emissions.
Included in the EPC is associated information on how the recommended improvements could raise the energy efficiency rating.
The EPC can apply to all buildings and properties, even rented ones, and will highlight the simple cost-effective measures you can take and are valid for ten years from when they are issued.
What An EPC Rating Is
An EPC rating is a handy review of a building’s energy efficiency and is mainly used by renters, would-be homeowners, and those looking to move home, to quickly assess their prospective energy bills.
This is particularly useful to judge whether a house or flat move is worth it based on how expensive the bills may turn out to be. In England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, EPCs are undertaken by EPC assessors.
In Scotland, this job is performed by Domestic Energy Assessors and in both cases, they have to be government-approved organisations.
To produce an EPC rating, the EPC assessor or Domestic Energy Assessor has to perform a survey of the building.
The rating itself will be based on the amount of energy used per square metre and the amount of carbon dioxide emissions which is given in tonnes per year.
As the EPC is valid for ten years, a new one has to be issued prior to selling or renting a property.
To check an EPC, you only need to visit the EPC register which can be easily searched to find the relevant property. It is down to the property seller or landlord to provide an EPC and ensure it is valid, not the prospective buyer or renter.
An EPC Explained
When you have found the relevant EPC for the property you are looking at, the first section will highlight and explain the estimated energy cost.
This will be broken down into three different categories which include the hot water, heating, and lighting with the costs based on the energy prices at the time the EPC was completed.
The important section of the EPC is the EPC rating which is demonstrated on the energy efficiency scale.
Similar to the rating you see on modern appliances, this one spans from A to G with the lower rating amounting to the higher running costs.
With the EPC rating comes a potential rating which demonstrates how the rating could improve if the suggestions from the EPC assessor were acted on.
The EPC will also detail how much it would cost to install these suggestions, whether they are available under the Green Deal initiative, and the accumulated savings over three years.
Various elements of the building will be broken down to demonstrate their individual energy efficiency rating. These should include the floors, heating, windows, and walls, so it should be easy to see where quick improvements can be made.
A suggestion of low and zero-carbon energy sources will also be identified as will the property’s heating demand, the environmental impact of the property, and the overall recommendations.
The Importance Of An EPC Rating
An EPC rating is important as a valid one has to be provided before a property can be sold or rented out, unless it is a listed building.
In that sense, the EPC rating is essential to the property exchange and renting process as it is an easy reference point to compare between properties.
That could make the difference when prospective house buyers or renters are deciding between a range of properties.
If certain criteria are more or less identical, such as the size of the garden, amount of bedrooms, or the proximity to schools, then they can simply choose the property with the EPC rating closest to A.
If a property has an EPC rating of below A then there are steps that are identified on the certificate itself to improve that.
Once those steps are completed then a homeowner or landlord should be in a better position to sell or rent out their property.
If they need to check, they can simply request another survey that should reflect those changes and show an improved EPC rating.
The EPC rating also sets out requirements that can determine what a landlord can do with their property.
For instance, landlords in England and Wales are required by law to achieve an EPC rating of E or above in order to let their property to new tenants or renewals.
Furthermore, EPCs are vital for claiming government incentives such as the Renewable Heat Incentive.
How To Improve Your EPC Rating
If your EPC rating requires improvement, there are some simple measures you can take that will improve the energy efficiency of your home.
This can simply be done by installing an underfloor heating system such as Wundatherm boards which includes insulation for your floor. You can also improve the insulation in your roof, loft, and walls as well.
Another simple measure is to install double glazing to retain the heat that may otherwise escape. Solar panels are an effective way to produce greener and cheaper energy.
If you wanted to lower your energy bills then you could easily change to low-energy lighting.
The EPC rating becomes vital when a property is being sold or rented out as it can make the difference for many renters, would-be homeowners, or those looking to move home.
By assessing the energy efficiency by certain factors, a quick assessment can be made.
These factors could include how much it costs to heat the property or how many low or zero-carbon energy sources there are which can all add up to a poor rating.
With the right insulation, the energy efficiency of a property can be easily improved to reduce energy bills and improve the EPC rating.
Contact us for further information on how the EPC rating can be improved in your home.