Energy Performance Certificates – Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)? Here are Energy Performance Certificates – Frequently Asked Questions

An Energy Performance Certificate is a standardised method of assessment for all properties. It compares your property against others of a similar type and issues a report featuring a bar chart with a rating from A to G (A being most efficient, G being least efficient) for you property. It will also feature recommendations for how to improve your property’s energy rating.

Is there a penalty for not having one?

An EPC is a legal requirement for any property being marketed for sale or for let in the UK. The penalty is a substantial fine of up to £5000 based on your property’s value.

What are the laws governing Energy Performance Certificates?

EPCs became a legal requirement initially as part of the Home Information Packs (HIPs) under the Housing Act (2004). Although the HIPs were repealed in the Localism Act (2011), Energy Performance Certificates remained a necessity in order to reduce carbon emissions in the United Kingdom.

What happens during an EPC test?

There are several stages to an Energy Performance Certificate Test which are as follows:

  • – A qualified assessor will arrive at the property and require access to all internal rooms and parts of the property, including access to any loft space, as long as it is safe and practical to do so.
  • – It will not be necessary to clear any spaces such as cupboards, pull up floorboards, roll up carpets etc.
  • – The property area will be measured and factors such as; the age of the building, construction methods, materials, insulation, number of energy efficient light bulbs etc. will be recorded.
  • – There might be digital photographs taken of various areas of the property.
  • – The assessor will then compile the EPC report and a paper copy can be sent to the property owner.


How long will the assessment last?

An EPC will usually take between 30 to 90 minutes.

How long will I be covered by the EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate is valid for up to 10 years at a time. It is recommended to obtain an updated certificate if there are any major modifications made which will either improve or lower the rating substantially.

Are there any exemptions?

The following examples are exempt from having an Energy Performance Certificate:

  • – Places of Worship
  • – Temporary buildings with an expected use of up to 2 years
  • – Buildings smaller than 50m2 that are not used as accommodation
  • – Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings


If I am selling a Commercial Property do I need to have an EPC?

Yes. All buildings sold in the United Kingdom except from a few minor exemptions are required by law to have an Energy Performance Certificate prior to being marketed. However, there are different classifications of the EPC and a non-residential property would have to purchase a Non-Domestic or Commercial Energy Performance Certificate.

I am thinking of making significant changes to my property, do I have to have my EPC updated?

It is not a legal requirement to update your existing EPC, however, it is highly recommended that all information regarding the property is kept up to date, especially if any major structural changes have been made or the recommendations in the report have been acted upon.

Do I only need to get an Energy Performance Certificate when I am about to market my property?

An EPC can be obtained at any time and is a great way to make sure you are paying as little as possible for heating and electrical bills. If you commission an EPC and it discovers simple and cost effective solutions to any heat loss problems, then you will spend a little on the EPC to save a lot elsewhere.

So there are Energy Performance Certificates – Frequently Asked Questions

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