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Interpreting Your Domestic EPC Results: Understanding Your Energy Performance Rating
If you're planning to buy, sell, or rent a residential property in the UK, you'll likely come across the term "Domestic Energy Performance Certificate," or EPC for short.
But what exactly is a Domestic EPC, and why is it important?
If you need to know more information on the current regulations, what is involved and how to book your Domestic EPC then our handy guide is packed with useful tips for you!
What Is A Domestic EPC?
The first point we should cover is what actually is an EPC and do you need one? The EPC is the shortened term for Energy Performance Certificate.
The certificate is a detailed document which displays how energy efficient a property through a series of graphs and ratings. The two categories rated on the certificate are the Energy Efficiency Rating and the Environmental Impact Rating.
In addition to the current ratings, the certificate will also display what the potential rating of the property is.
These potential ratings show what rating the property could have if the recommended improvements are implemented. Whether you actually need to have an EPC will depend on what you intend to do with the property. A valid Domestic EPC is required by law if you wish to market a residential property for sale or let (EPCs are also required for Commercial and Non-Domestic properties). If you plan to build a property then you will also be required to produce an EPC however, the testing is not the same as for existing homes and it is advised that you speak to your architect or local authority for further advice.
The purpose of a Domestic EPC is to help homeowners, tenants, and landlords understand how much energy their property uses, as well as identify ways to reduce energy consumption and save money on energy bills.
If you are a landlord who already has tenants then you should be aware that you are now legally required to have a valid EPC. For private homeowners there are not any legal requirements at present but for those looking at remortgaging, then it is highly likely that the lender will request an EPC as part of the application.
How Do I Make Sense Of The Ratings?
The chances are that the graphs on your Domestic EPC certificate will look familiar to you. The reason for this is that they are the same type of graphs used on new appliances. The energy efficiency rating is shown in the form of a graph which is graded on a scale from A-G. A property with an ‘A’ rating is the most energy efficient whilst those with a ‘G’ rating are the least.
As previously mentioned, the graph displays both the current and potential rating of the property.
An example of an EPC rating of a property as follows:
In this case, a rating of C on an EPC signifies that a building has an energy efficiency that is considered typical in comparison to other buildings. Essentially, this indicates that the building consumes more energy than A or B-rated buildings, but less energy than buildings with ratings of D, E, F, or G.
This rating is determined based on a variety of factors including insulation, heating systems, and the type and efficiency of the windows in the building.
Is EPC A Legal Requirement?
Yes, it is a legal requirement for residential properties in the UK to have a valid Domestic EPC before they can be sold or rented. Failure to provide a valid EPC can result in fines and legal penalties.
Additionally, properties that have an EPC rating of F or G may not be legally rentable, as they do not meet the minimum energy efficiency standards required by law.
How Domestic EPCs Are Calculated
Domestic EPCs are calculated using a standardized methodology that takes into account a range of factors, including:
- The age and construction of the property.
- The heating and cooling systems in the property.
- The insulation levels in the walls, roof, and floors.
- The lighting systems and appliances in the property.
- The orientation and location of the property.
Using this information, a Domestic EPC assessor will assign the property an energy efficiency rating on a scale of A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least.
How Long Is It Valid For?
The Domestic EPC is valid for a 10 year period. If you make any significant changes, alterations or improvements to your property within this time then it is recommended that you should get a new certificate.
I Think I Might Have One - Is It Possible To Check?
Absolutely !It is quite common to inherit your certificate from a previous owner which can make it tricky to know when the certificate was originally issued. Thankfully, all EPC documents are uploaded to a central database which you can search for free and double check the renewal date. If you wish to search the certificate register for a Domestic EPC then just click here - https://www.epcregister.com/ If it is a Non-Domestic or Commercial buildings you need to check then you can view that database here - https://www.ndepcregister.com/
What Does An Assessor Need To Check?
Domestic EPC inspections have to be carried out by an actively registered Domestic Energy Assessor and the process will involve an on-site inspection of your property.
Stage one of the inspection is a full and accurate measurement of the entire property and any auxiliary areas so make sure you are able to provide full access (and ideally to any loft space if applicable). This is followed by an assessment of the key data points within the property. These will include the heating system (and cooling if present), the windows (frame and glazing type), the inspection of loft/wall insulation where possible and the lighting and hot water systems.
After the on-site inspection has been completed and the data gathered, the assessor uploads all of the data into specialist software which will calculate both your current and potential ratings. You should allow around half an hour for average sized apartments and the best part of an hour for larger family homes.
How Do I Get A Domestic EPC?
If you're buying, selling, or renting a residential property, you will need to obtain a Domestic EPC from a certified Domestic EPC assessor. You can find a Domestic EPC assessor in your area by searching on our platform, and the cost of the assessment will depend on a variety of factors, including the size and location of the property.
Why Domestic EPCs Are Important
There are several reasons why Domestic EPCs are important, including:
- Compliance: In the UK, it is a legal requirement for residential properties to have a valid EPC before they can be sold or rented.
- Cost savings: A Domestic EPC can help homeowners, tenants, and landlords identify ways to reduce energy consumption and save money on energy bills.
- Environmental impact: Energy consumption is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and a more energy-efficient property can help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Property value: A higher energy efficiency rating can potentially increase the value of a property, as it is an indicator of lower energy bills and a more comfortable living environment.
Can You Do An EPC On Your Own Property?
It is not advised to carry out an EPC on your own. The assessment must be carried out by a certified Domestic EPC assessor if you are planning to sell or rent your property.
Doing your own assessment may also result in an inaccurate or incomplete EPC, which could affect your ability to sell or rent your property.
Where Can I Book My Domestic EPC?
In conclusion, a Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a vital document that can help homeowners, tenants, and landlords understand the energy efficiency of their property, reduce energy consumption and costs, and contribute to a more sustainable future.
If you're planning to buy, sell, or rent a residential property in the UK, be sure to obtain a valid Domestic EPC to ensure compliance with the law and to make informed decisions about your energy usage.
There are many EPC providers out there but if you are looking to book yours easily, quickly and at the most competitive price then just contact us! We provide price comparison on a nationwide network of qualified Domestic Energy Assessors. You can read through genuine reviews from previous clients, compare the prices of assessors in your area and even check live availability.
In order to book you just need to enter the postcode of the property and select the number of bedrooms, then choose a qualified local energy assessor at the time and date that suits you best!