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EPCs What You Need To Know

If you are planning to build, sell or let your property in England or Wales, it is a legal
requirement to have a valid EPC associated with that property.
This article is a simplistic overview of these requirements but will hopefully answer some of
the questions you may have, or merely increase your knowledge in this area.

A brief history

EPC’S were introduced in England and Wales on the 1 st August 2007, as part of Home
Information Packs (HIP’s) for domestic properties with four or more bedrooms. Over time,
this requirement was extended to smaller properties. When the requirement for HIP’s was
removed in 2010, the requirement for EPC’s continued.

What is an EPC?

An EPC is a software generated document, which highlights the energy efficiency and the
environmental impact rating of a building. A rating is assigned to the property, from A
through to G. A is the most efficient and G the most inefficient.
This document will detail the approximate energy usage of a property and also highlight any
improvements that can be made to increase the energy efficiency. The potential monetary
costs and potential savings over a three year period are also included.

What will the assessor examine?

The Domestic Energy Assessor will look at wall, floor and roof construction, evidence of
insulation (particularly in the loft space, where applicable), windows and glazing, heating
and hot water systems, fireplaces, lighting, number of bathrooms, number of habitable
rooms and perimeter measurements etc. Photos for proof of inspection and the accuracy of the report will also be taken.

Important Note: Please remember that an assessor can only assess on evidence. If you have any energy
saving improvements made to your home, YOU MUST keep documentative evidence of the
work carried out.

Is my selling or letting agent responsible for arranging this?

No. The responsibility is yours. Even if your agent says; “leave it with me” If your EPC has
not been conducted within 28 days of marketing and if every attempt to have this
conducted has been made, even with proof of correspondence, the property must be
withdrawn from the market until an EPC is available.

How long does an EPC last for?

Currently an EPC is valid for 10 years. However, if you purchase a property with a recent EPC
that has been graded an E, F or G for example and you install a new heating system, double
glazing and improve the loft insulation, it may well be worth you ordering an up to date EPC
as these types of improvements would have improved the properties energy efficiency
rating dramatically.

Does every property require a valid EPC?

No. There are exemptions to these regulations, where any improvements highlighted on the
report would be deemed insignificant or impossible to achieve. For example, the following
establishments do not require an EPC:
 Listed or officially protected buildings.
 A temporary building that is only going to be used for two years or less.
 A building used for a place of worship or other religious activities.
 A detached building with a total floor space under 50 square metres.
 An industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that doesn’t use
much energy.
 A building due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the
relevant planning and conservation consents.

Summary

This is a very brief and succinct overview of the EPC requirements. The EPC is not in place as
a bureaucratic document, It’s purpose and intent is to make us all aware that a home does
have an environmental impact, as well as a monetary one. Currently, any property that is let
on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), or is holiday let (although this is a grey area, even
for the ministry of housing) for more than four months per year, must have a minimum
rating of E. This forms part of the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES). This
requirement came in just a couple of years ago, so as we can see, albeit slowly, the wheels
are turning towards this way of thinking.

Should you require any personalised advice; please do not hesitate to contact us. We have a domestic energy assessor on hand more than willing to answer any queries free of charge.

 

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