An EPC or Energy Performance Certificate is an important piece of legal document which is a must if you are putting your property on the market. EPC provides details of the estimate of how energy efficient the property is and how it can be a great selling point. The rating range of A to G, where a property rated A will be an efficient one, and the one rated G will be very inefficient. The EPC will allow the prospective buyer or a tenant of the property to determine the running cost of the property.
Cost of EPC and Major Factors that Affect the Cost
There is no fixed fee for receiving an EPC. The EPC cost will depend on a number of factors, including the location of the property, kind of property, the number of bedrooms, and others. Other factors that greatly influence the EPC costs are the fees of the assessor and how far the assessor will need to travel to get to your property. Irrespective of the factors, one should expect the cost of the EPC to be below £200. The total amount of time needed to perform the assessment can range from half an hour for a 3-bedroom house to a couple of hours for a commercial building. The EPC cost covers the certification and the assessor’s fees. The assessor will be provided access to the entire house so that they can assess the heating systems, insulations, take measurements and photos to help in evaluation. All the information and data collected will be used by the assessor to provide a rating. After the assessment, the EPC certification will be issued after the full payment of the EPC fees. The EPC will also be lodged on the national register, and the rating will be publicly available.
The validity of an EPC
Even though an EPC is valid for a period of ten years, it needs to be voluntarily renewed when a major renovation has been carried out to reflect the changes. Only the newest EPC produced will be valid. The property owner needs to apply for a new EPC as soon as the old one expires so that they have a valid EPC at all times. There are major benefits of updating the EPC even before they expire.
Information Provided in the Energy Performance Certificate
- Amount of energy the property potentially consumes
- The cost of fuel needed to power the entire property
- Different areas where energy-efficient improvements can be made for further savings
- Carbon dioxide emissions within a particular period
- Details of the qualified Energy Assessor of the property
- Details of person where any complaints can be filed
Laws Regarding EPCs and Penalties
According to the changes made in the EPC legislations in 2015, all residential and commercial properties are required to meet minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) after April 1st 2018. All properties are required to have a minimum rating of E and properties under the given rating cannot sell out unless they come under one of the exemptions. If a property falls under E rating, the owner needs to make changes and have their property reassessed to ensure that it falls under the needed standards. There has been another major change to the rules and property owners need to comply with the MEES rule to let out their property April 2020 onwards.
If a property fails to comply with the necessary MEES, then there are certain penalties that are imposed on the owners –
- Providing false or misleading information for EPC – £1000
- Failing to comply with the minimum rating - £2000
- Renting out a non-compliant property - £4000 (less than 3 months) and £5000(more than 3 months)
In addition to the above penalties, a notice will also be published that can hurt the reputation of the property owners.
It is advised to get an EPC performance certificate with the use of an estate agent online. It is a good idea to get quotes for a few estate agents so that you can compare the prices and pick the best among them. An estate agent should be able to arrange for a professional energy assessor within 48 to 72 hours of hiring their services.