An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an important document required by the UK government to ensure that the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) is met.
Ensuring regulations on energy performance are adhered to is a high priority for the government, since the effects of climate change continue to be seen and recorded around the world. An increased focus on sustainable fuel usage is still required, but holding buildings to the standards shown on an EPC is one method that has been successful for many years now.
A domestic Energy Performance Certificate will be provided to anyone moving into a new home. The EPC is one of several key documents which you can expect to be provided in this situation. This would be given by the previous owner if you’re buying the property, or the landlord if you’re simply a new tenant.
Typically, an EPC will always follow the same basic structure. It is designed to provide vital information in a way that is quick and easy to understand, so that potential buyers or tenants can make informed comparisons between different properties. The standard EPC layout includes the following information:
- Energy efficiency rating displayed in the form of a colour-coded chart, which you will also see on most kitchen appliances and similar items. On a scale from G to A (based on a numerical value from 1 to 100), your property will be marked according to several factors including insulation, type of heating and so on.
- Detailed breakdown summarising each major aspect of the property (e.g. walls, windows, heating etc.) with a description of the current setup and an energy efficiency rating for each.
- Estimated annual energy use per square metre of the property based on the above observations. Note that this is not related to any estimate you would get from your utility provider.
- List of recommendations which could be implemented to improve energy efficiency, and a predicted rating marked on the chart for comparison based on the recommendations being implemented.
At the moment, domestic EPCs matter for landlords and sellers because people can directly compare different properties and make judgements about where they would prefer to live, taking into account the expected future energy costs among other things. By next year, more serious consequences will be felt by landlords because cash penalties of up to £4,000 will be enforced from April 2018 for any rental property which is graded F or below.