EPC fact file for property sellers, buyers, landlords and PV Installations.




EPCs - What are they?

 Energy Efficiency Rating

Energy Performance Certificates, also referred to as EPCs, have been introduced in an effort to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.  It results from a European Directive.  In Britain we have linked it with the process for selling houses, when properties are re-let and to gain fiance for energy efficiency improvements. 

An EPC is a report on your property.  The EPC states an energy efficiency rating between A and G (A representing excellent performance and G being very poor) in a similar way to those on domestic appliances like fridges.

For the average property you should expect a rating of a D.  Better ratings will be achieved for newer builds or updated properties with the best insulation and heating systems.  An older property with inefficient heating and poor insulation should expect a lower rating.

The certificate gives an estimate of fuel running costs.  These costs are unlikely to reflect your actual fuel costs as they are based on a formula to standardize the fuel usage & occupancy to allow one property to be easily compared to another.

There is an advisory section explaining the rating and recommended works to improve the energy efficiency of your premises.  The recommendations give you an idea of the most cost effective ways to reduce your fuel costs.  The EPC also tells you which of these recommendations qualify for Green Deal funding.

The EPC is recorded by Landmark on behalf of the government.

The certificate must be prepared by an authorized assessor (DEA) who will visit your property to gather the information to produce the EPC.  The survey is non invasive i.e. they gather information using what they can see and measure, together with any documentary evidence provided.  Note that the DEA cannot take a homeowners word alone for any changes made.  i.e. the changes must be visible or documentary evidence must be supplied.  If you are planning to make improvement, particularly insulation that will be covered up, make sure you retain supporting documentation.  Similarly the DEA will produce the EPC reflecting the property at the time of the visit.  They will not take into account any future changes you intend to make (another visit will be required once work is completed).

There are a number of accreditation schemes.  Bristol Idea use elmhurst energy.  2% of all EPCs produced are checked by the accreditation schemes.

EPC - Buying/Selling a Property

An EPC must be commissioned, although not necessarily received, before the property is placed on the market. The EPC must be available within 7 days of the property being marketed.  The EPC has to be less than 10 years old when the property is placed for sale.  If you already have an EPC, for example, from a Home Information Pack (HIP) when you bought the property, you can reuse it.  If you fail to provide an EPC the Trading Standards Officer can issue a notice with a £200 penalty.  There are circumstances when an EPC is not required, for example, you do not require an EPC to sell your property if it is scheduled for demolition or has been marked in the sales particulars as not currently in a habitable state.

EPC - Renting out a Property

From October 2008 Landlords must provide an EPC for new tenants. You do not require an EPC if you are just renting out a room (the property must be self contained to required an EPC).  Whether or not you require an EPC also depends on how the contract is written with the tenants (as the property must be 'self contained' if the property is let to more than one tenant, each with their own contract with you, there is no requirement for an EPC).  Once produced the EPC is valid for 10 years. If you fail to provide an EPC to your tenant the Trading Standards Officer can issue a notice with a £200 penalty per dwelling in addition to the requirement to provide the missing EPC.

If you are a landlord you might find the LandlordZONE of interest.

MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard) 

From April 2018 Properties can only be let if they achieve a Band E.  The rules are quite complex and in October 2017 the government produced guidelines for Landlords.  MEES impacts new lets, places the onus on the Landlord to find funding from one of a number of schemes (the basis of MEES is no cost to the Landlord to upgrade their property) and has an Exemption process in place should it be impossible to acheive a Band E.  Find our more.....

EPC - Holiday Lets

From 30th June 2011 an EPC is also required for properties rented out as holiday lets for 4 or more months of the year.  The EPC must be commissioned by the owner before the property can be rented out.  Mobile homes and caravans are not considered to be buildings and are exempt from the requirement.  Similarly renting out individual rooms as part of a B&B is also exempt.  The EPC is valid for 10 years.  The department of Communities and Local Government have produced a guidance note on EPCs for Holiday Lets which answers many frequently asked questions.

EPC - Feed In Tariff (FIT)

For Solar PV Installations you will need an EPC at a band D or above issued before you commission the installation of the panels in order to receive the Higher Rate of FITs   Find out more.....

The rates for the Feed in Tariff are reducing over time to reflect reducing intallation costs.  Find our more.....

EPC - New Build or Conversion to Domestic Use 

An EPC is produced using a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), first introduced in 1995.  It was the UK Governments recommended method for assessing the typical energy costs for space and water heating and incorporated lighting from 2005.  This methodology is still used for new build and when buildings are newly converted for residential use.  It is a mandatory requirement and is used to check compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations. 

For existing domestic properties a simplified version referred to as RdSAP was brought in during 2007. 

Bristol Idea carry out RdSAP EPCs and not full SAP for new build and conversions.  However, Elmhurst Energy provide a full service for New Build and Conversions.

Exemptions for the need to have an EPC

There are a number of situations when an EPC is not required to sell or rent out your property.  These include:

  • Any building which has been listed by English Heritage (or its Welsh equivalent).
  • Holiday lets that are used for less than 4 months a year
  • The property is to be demolished

Lost EPC

If you can't find your EPC then it is possible to track it down from the Landmark site.  From 22nd April 2012 Landmark launched a service allowing you to enter your post code to find your EPC and download it.. 

Alternatively your estate/letting agent can check if an EPC exists and make a request to the Landmark Register for a copy.

If we produced the EPC for you then we will email a version to you free of charge.  If you want a printed copy posted then there will be a nominal charge for this service.

Concerned About Details of Your Property being Public?

If you are concerned about your property details being generally available you can Opt Out of having your EPC public on the internet.  Just follow the link and fill in the form on the Landmark site -  opt out now.......

Home Energy Check

The Home Energy Check at the Energy Savings website is an online tool to find out how you can lower your energy bills.  It is really simple to use and will give you a good idea of the sort of information that the Energy Assessor will be taking into account to produce your EPC.

Thermal ImagingSolid Wall Insulation Installation

Energy Advise, Grants and Funding Improvements

Impartial Advise

You can also obtain impartial advice on how to save energy.

The energy savings trust have a really useful on-line tool which finds and compares the grants that are available to help you improve the energy efficiency of your property and save you money on your fuel cost. Find out more.....

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) provides subsidies for improvements to specific properties.  Subsidies are targeted at the poorest households and the most hard to treat housing stock (e.g. those with solid wall). Find Out More...

The Green Deal

Green Deal Funding has now been withdrawn

The Green Deal Advisers were registered on the Landmark database.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) provides  financial incentives to encourage the take up of renewal heat technologies. Installations of heat pumps,and solar thermal for off gas grid households qualify for support.  The scheme will cover installations back to 2009..  Find Out More ...

The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

This fund has now been withdrawn and plans are in place to reintroduce it soon

- Need to change your boiler ?

From 1 April 2009 gas engineers must register on the new Gas Safe Register.  Make sure that any engineer you choose is registered. 

- Need an Electrician?

Make sure you use a registered competent electrician.  You'll find the on the Electric Safe Register.

- Is my property suitable for Solar Generation?

Considering renting out your roof for solar power?  Make sure you get your lender's approval first.  Find out more.....

- Low Energy Lighting

One of the areas that the EPC takes into account when assessing the energy efficiency of your property is the proportion of fixtures that contain low energy light bulbs.  The old incandescent bulbs are being gradually phased out but halogen bulbs are also classed as high energy for the EPC.  When buying low energy bulbs the packaging contains a lot of information that can help you decide which ones will suit your purpose.  Rather than look at the Wattage you should look at the panel that gives the Lumens rating which will tell you how bright the bulb will be.

 Low Energy Lumens
Incandescent Wattage
 200 - 500
 500 - 700
 900+  100W+

There is an additional panel which tells you the colour of the light the bulb will produce - warm white (like the old incandescent bulbs), cold white (one to look for if you want to work under the light) or blue light.

Low energy bulbs will take time to come up to full brightness, the best will do this in under a minute, this should be on the packaging.  Alternatively if you use LED lighting this will be instantly bright when you switch it on.

Also on the packaging will be confirmation if the bulb can be used with dimmer switches.

Some alternative uses for Solar Photovoltaic

Taken at the 2010 Bristol Harbour Festival. 


These cyclists were providing the power for one of the sound stages


 Cycle Power
 Outback Power How do you provide power to a phonebox in the Australian Outback.  Simple, photovoltaic.....
Taken in June 2014

This is a Solar driven pump used to supply water to the 200 Allotment plots at the Golden Hill Community Garden in Bristol.

This is an excellent way to provide water to the whole site with water being pumped to tanks at the top of this hilly site.

 Solar PV

Thermal Images of your property can be provided by epogee who are based in Monmouth.   They also provide courses on ways to improve your energy efficiency yourself.  Let them know if you found them from our site.

Updated by the webmaster Wendy Morri on 12 October 2017