If you want to market your property for rent or sale, you need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). But how much does an EPC cost, and what’s the process for getting one? Here’s a rundown of what you should know.
What is an EPC?
An EPC is proof of a property’s energy efficiency. It’s broken down into a few sections.
Estimated energy costs
The EPC estimates how much it costs to run utilities, like lighting and heating. It also estimates the cost of running hot water.
To be clear, these costs are just estimates. The real bills could be higher or lower.
Energy efficiency rating
Properties receive a ‘ranking’ or score based on their current energy efficiency. The score runs from ‘A’ (very energy efficient) to ‘G’ (least energy efficient). This part of the EPC looks very much like the energy rating stickers you find on appliances like fridges and freezers.
Each property also receives a score for its ‘potential’ energy efficiency. This is the rating you could achieve if you make some home improvements. You can use this rating as a guide to making upgrades if you want to improve the score before selling or renting.
In this final section, you’ll find some tips for making the property more energy efficient. Examples include installing cavity wall insulation or upgrading the boiler. You’ll also see an indication of how much money each improvement could save you in the long term.
Do I need an EPC?
- An EPC only lasts 10 years, so you might need a new one if you haven’t sold the property in a long time. Double-check how old your EPC is if you’re unsure.
- The tenant or buyer can ask to see the EPC at any point, so you must have a copy readily available. This can be digital or otherwise.
- You can’t charge anyone for viewing the EPC.
There’s not much leeway here – if you don’t have an EPC in place when the property goes to market, you could be fined £200.
How much does an EPC cost?
There’s no fixed cost. According to Checkatrade, an EPC typically costs between £35 and £120 + VAT, but there’s always a chance you could pay more than this.
The price varies because it depends on the individual property. Three factors, in particular, can affect how much you’ll pay for an EPC:
- Number of bedrooms
- Property type (e.g. flat or detached home)
If you want to get the best deal, be sure to shop around. You might find it costs more to instruct an EPC through your estate agent, so contact Accredited Domestic Energy Assessors directly.
How do I get an EPC?
There are two common ways to get an EPC: through an estate agent or by contacting an assessor directly.
Through an estate agent
If you’re using an estate agent to sell your flat or home, they’re legally bound to check there’s a valid EPC for the property. They’ll also find you a certified assessor to complete the report if you don’t have one yet.
For many people, this is the easiest way to get an EPC, but since you won’t get a chance to shop around, it can be more expensive.
Contacting an assessor
You must use an Accredited Domestic Energy Assessor to complete the EPC. To find one, simply visit the gov.uk website and book a property assessment. Alternatively, you can search for EPC quotes on comparison websites like reallymoving.com. Just make sure the assessor is on the EPC register before you book them.
For Scottish properties, check out the Scottish energy certificate service instead.
While an EPC might seem like an unnecessary cost, it’s actually a useful tool for sellers and buyers alike. By showing you how much it costs to run a property, and offering you ways to save money on energy, you can possibly reduce the cost of your energy bills in the long run.
And just remember, if you’re not selling through an estate agent, you must have the EPC in place before the property even goes on the market. Not having an EPC could cost more than having one!
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