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  • Writer's pictureMartin Jones

What is an EPC ?

In this short read, Next Move Homes Norfolk explains what an EPC is (Energy performance certificate). EPC’s were introduced by the government in 2007 and is a document which indicates the energy efficiency of a house, flat, or bungalow. EPCs are drawn up by an accredited, approved domestic energy assessor who rates properties between A (very good) and G (very poor).

Do I require an EPC?

If you are considering marketing a property for sale or to rent, you will need an energy performance certificate. No ifs or buts, this is a legal requirement. This is the case whether you are renting a property out or selling it (There are some very small exceptions which we can advise on). Once an EPC has been carried out they remain valid for 10 years, however, if during that time you make any changes to the property such as improving the windows or changes to the heating system it is worth having the property re-assessed as changes could have improved the properties energy efficiency.

Once issued and visible on the EPC register, an EPC remains valid for ten years, provided no changes are made to the property’s overall energy efficiency. If you want to sell your property in that time you will not need a new EPC, providing there have not been any changes. An EPC generally costs between £70-£100. You can find out if a property has a valid EPC by visiting Find an energy certificate - GOV.UK (

What information does Energy Performance Certificate provide?

On page one, the first section of the certificate lists the property’s current energy costs broken down into heat, light and hot water. It also provides a figure for the potential savings you could make if you implemented all the recommended measures. These estimated energy costs do not include appliances, so in reality any given property’s energy bills will be quite a bit higher than the EPC states.

The second section of page one shows the property’s current A to G EPC rating and its reasonable maximum potential rating. This can often be a lot higher than its actual rating.

The second page shows how efficiently the individual elements of the property perform. Each item on this list of elements is rated from one to five stars. This includes the walls, roof, floors, windows, heating, heating controls, hot water system and lighting system. Solid brick balls with no insulation will score a one, while thick cavity insulated walls will score a five. This page also features an estimate of your property’s heat demand in KW/y, (kilowatts per year) and how much various potential insulation methods could help you save energy.

The next section in the EPC is recommendations about how a property could be made more energy efficient. These measures often include things like double glazing, internal or external wall insulation, suspended floor insulation, hot water cylinder insulation and changes to the lighting and heating systems, and solar panels. The EPC certificate shows each upgrade in order of impact, suggests how much it will cost and what the property’s rating will be afterwards.

What requirements are there for EPCs on properties being rented out?

While energy efficiency is important for all homeowners, energy performance certificate ratings hold particular importance for landlords. This is because the ranking system derived from EPCs is used to determine whether a property is legal to rent.

On April 1st 2018, legislation came into force requiring all new tenancies to meet minimum energy efficiency standards (also referred to as MEES). In 2020, this was extended to apply to all pre-existing tenancies too. This new legislation made it illegal to rent out a property with an EPC rating below E and put a potential £5000 fine in place for anyone caught doing so. There are some exemptions, for example, if a landlord was to spend £3,500 on the energy efficiency improvements recommended in the property’s EPC, or to get three quailed installers to agree that no improvements can be made for less than this cost, this would be (although not guaranteed) a strong case for not having an EPC. These exceptions only last for five years, and then they must be reviewed.

If you would like any further information, or have any questions on how we help sellers and buyers 7 days per week, please contact Next Move Homes Norfolk on 01953 550317 or 01603 536719

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