The rising importance of Energy Performance Certificates

Global warming and climate change concerns are never far out of the media spotlight. Individuals are trying to do their bit to save the planet and companies have mounting pressure to reduce their carbon footprints and be more accountable and responsible for the environment. So, as the public’s interest in energy efficiency and carbon emissions continues to grow, so does the awareness of energy performance certificates (EPC). These are important, as the government states that buildings are responsible for almost 40 % of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions.

If you have a property in England or Wales that you want to sell or rent, you need to have a relevant EPC under government legislation. Jacobs Steel has prepared its top information points to give a better understanding of what you might need to know.

Residential – selling

When you put your property on the market you must order or have in place a Valid EPC. The results of the certification will give ratings from A to G with the latter being the least efficient. The outcome will not affect your ability to sell your property but will provide the buyer with an indication of the energy consumption and costs associated with the home. This certificate is valid on the property for ten years, so if you decide not to move immediately you won't have to reinvest in the paperwork when you do put your house back on the market. 

Residential - lettings 

Like selling a property, you need to have at least ordered an EPC when you’re about to market your place for rent. Unlike being put up for sale though, currently, you can’t have tenants rent your home unless the EPC rating is above band E. If you have received a rating of F or G, then you will need to take action to comply with the Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES).  Some properties can be exempt from the ruling which will need to be recorded with the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register. For example, some listed buildings are excluded; however, if this property was then sold, the new owner wouldn’t get the exemption passed to them if they intended to keep renting the property out.

Get rated

You now know when you’ll need certification, but how do you obtain it?  The assessment of the energy efficiency of a property is conducted by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA). You can establish whether your property has an existing EPC by checking online at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) Energy Performance of Buildings Central Register. 

If you don’t have a certificate and need one, we can find a local professional to carry out the inspection for you.  Once commissioned, a DEA will visit the property at a convenient time and create an assessment based on several factors including:

  • Age and type of dwelling
  • Fixtures such as lighting, heating, and boiler
  • Roofing and windows
  • Floor and wall type

The report

When you receive your report, you will see that the EPC is broken down into easy-to-understand sections.  These comprise:

  • Energy efficiency rating– ranging from category A-G, with A being the optimum.  Higher ratings imply lower fuel bills
  • Estimated energy costs of the home – this breaks down the current and potential costs
  • Recommendations – work that could be carried out which could help save money
  • Environmental impact - ranging from category A-G, with A being the optimum. The score dictates the CO2 emissions impact on the environment
  • Estimated overview – this provides an indication of current and potential energy, CO2 emissions and fuel costs of the home

If you wish to know more about Energy Performance Certificates or have other general buying, selling or rental questions, get in touch!

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