What Is an EPC and Why Do I Need One When Selling a Home?

Selling property comes with a lot of nitty-gritty. When not followed to the latter, the process can be unsuccessful and daunting. One of the crucial subjects when selling a home is that of an EPC. Better known as an Energy Performance Certificate. Read more to know why you need an EPC when selling property. Please see Fourlabs for property marketing services.

What Exactly Is an EPC?

An EPC is a four-page document that indicates a property’s energy efficiency as well as its environmental impact. It indicates how much it will cost to heat and power property. The document is used to grade property on a scale of A to G.

The letter ‘A’ denotes a high level of energy efficiency, whereas the letter ‘G’ denotes a low level of energy efficiency. The higher the grade, the more appealing the home will be to potential purchasers or tenants if you are renting it out.

You can get an EPC by having your property evaluated by a qualified energy assessor or by asking your estate agent to do it for you. Following the inspection, a certificate – the EPC – will be issued. After that, the certificate will be valid for 10 years.

Why Do I Need an EPC When Selling a Home?

First and foremost, when selling a home, it is mandatory by law that you have an EPC. As such, when a property is advertised for sale, the vendor is responsible for ensuring that it has a valid EPC. If the EPC has expired, you must commission a new one before putting the property on the market.

If you’re selling your home through an agent, they’ll be able to assist you in obtaining or renewing an EPC. Note that an EPC will be requested by the buyer’s solicitor, and if the EPC is not delivered by the deadline, the vendor may be subject to a penalty fine.

Besides that, an EPC is useful for potential buyers since it informs them about the property’s overall energy efficiency. How much energy does the property consume? What energy expenditures are associated with its operation? What is its ecological footprint and therefore impact on the environment?

The EPC also advises on how to increase the property’s energy efficiency, which can help you save money on your energy bills. As such, it shows care and consciousness for the good of the earth.

Changes in EPC Regulations That Affect Landlords

Before a house may be rented, the landlord must always present an EPC. However, the regulations governing EPCs are set to change from time to time. This can have an impact on landlords and their rental properties. In April 2018, for example, new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were effected.

As such, property rented out in the private rental sector had to have an EPC rating of at least ‘E’ from April 1, 2018. Properties that were rated ‘F’ and ‘G’ could not be legally rented out after then. At the time, these modifications initially applied to new tenancies and tenant renewals. However, from April 1, 2020, they were made to apply to all tenancies, new and old.

If Landlords fall in the F or G category, they can use third-party financing to undertake upgrades to their properties at no expense to themselves. It is in the best interests of a landlord to make their homes as energy-efficient as possible, as this will appeal to tenants.

Tenants will always be enticed by the idea of decreased energy bills and a warmer, better-insulated home. And, if the landlord has to cover the energy expenditures during a void period, both the landlord and the renters will benefit from the savings.

Wind Up

Both landlords and homeowners (especially those who aim to sell their property at some point) have an interest in continuing to enhance the energy efficiency of their homes. This helps them earn a higher EPC rating.

That said, note that while the current minimum energy rating is E, this is expected to alter in the coming years. This is because the government is working to minimize carbon emissions by increasing property energy efficiency. It is therefore wise to aim for the highest level of energy efficiency and lowest environmental impact!