What is an EPC and do you need one?

What is an EPC and do you need one?
Guide Author

James Longley

Managing Director

min read
Last Updated February 23, 2022

If you’re looking to sell or rent out your home or business premises, you’ll need to attain an energy performance certificate (EPC). Below, you can find out exactly what this means and how much it could cost to attain one.

What is on an EPC certificate?

The certificate itself comes as a four-page document, though when potential buyers or renters are viewing a property, it’s likely that the estate agent will initially just show you the rating graph rather than the whole document. The document runs through the estimated energy cost over three years if you were to leave the property as it is, and how much money you could save if you were to improve its efficiency. It’s worth noting that these costs are just for the heating, hot water and lighting and not other electrical appliances.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the document is the recommended top actions that you can take, how much these changes could cost, and how much money they could save you over three years. For instance, it may recommend cavity wall insulation as a top action. This work is estimated on the certificate to cost between £500 and £1,500 however over three years you could save £496.

How much does an EPC cost?

An EPC can cost anything between £60 and £120, however this depends on the assessor. You can choose an assessor yourself, however you must make sure they’re on the EPC register. It may be worth shopping around and getting a few quotes so you can ensure you’re getting the best price.

Do I need an EPC?

It’s important to know when you need an EPC and when you don’t otherwise you could be hit with a large fine. Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, read on to see whether your property needs assessing

EPC for Business

Your business will need an EPC if you own a commercial property and you either rent it out or want to sell it. You will also need one if this property is undergoing construction or significant changes are made to the building, such as the installation of a new heating system.

If you are renting your commercial property and the EPC rating comes back as F or G, you are required to carry out the recommended works to make your commercial property more energy efficient up to a cost of £3,500.

You do not need to get an EPC if you are renting your commercial property from someone else.

EPC for Homeowners

If you’re a homeowner who’s selling their home, you will need an EPC and you should get a copy of this within seven days of your home going on the market. They became a legal requirement in England in 2008 and you could get a fine of up to £5,000 if you don’t get one within seven days of your home going up for sale.

There are some very specific cases where homeowners do not need an EPC. For instance, if your property is listed or in a conservation area, some improvements could alter the appearance of the property and this is generally deemed unacceptable. You don’t need one if your home isn’t for sale, either. It’s likely that you received a copy when you bought the house, however it doesn’t need to be renewed and the property doesn’t need to be reassessed until you decide to sell.

In some cases, you may choose to get one done anyway to find out how efficient your home is and what improvements could be made. This could help you save energy on your home’s energy bills.

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