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Explaining what an EPC is, how you get one and answering the all-important 'do I need an EPC to sell my house'...

Energy efficiency and being environmentally friendly is something which is becoming a growing concern amongst the population, with the threat of global warming becoming increasingly bigger.

This is something that weighs in on the mind of buyers when they’re looking for their next property, as it’s not only good for the environment, but a more energy-efficient house is better on the wallet.

As a result of this, an Energy Performance Certificate is something that is of increasing importance when looking to attract the right buyer.

But, whilst it’s of high importance to buyers, you’re probably wondering ‘do I NEED an EPC to sell my house? Is it essential?’

Well, this is something we’re going to answer for you, as well as covering what exactly an EPC is, how to get one and why they’re so important, especially in today’s climate.

On top of this, we’re also going to explain your options when you’re wanting to sell your house fast and don’t have the time or money to get an EPC yourself.

Ready to get started? Use the menu below to jump to an answer:

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate, EPC for short, is a document that states how energy efficient a property is and what impact the property has environmentally. Properties are graded from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being poor in energy efficiency.

When buyers are looking at a property, the houses that are the most attractive are those which have the best energy efficiency rating. This is because these properties are not only the best for the environment, but they’re also the cheapest to run.

What type of EPC do I need?

Generally speaking, everyone who wants to sell a property in the UK is required by law to have a valid EPC. The type of EPC you will need will depend upon the type of property you have, commercial or domestic. For a domestic building, you will require a domestic EPC.

However, there are some circumstances where a building doesn’t need an EPC. These exceptions are:

  • A small stand-alone building with a total ‘useful’ floor space of less than 50 square metres

  • Holiday properties that are rented out for less than 4 months of the year or is let under a license to occupy

  • A listed building

  • A temporary building that will be used for no longer than 2 years

  • A building which is due to be demolished

  • A residential building which is intended to be used for less than 4 months a year

  • Agricultural buildings

  • Buildings that are used as a place of worship

If you’re unsure about whether or not you need an EPC, the government website is kept constantly up to date on what the current EPC rules are.

What do the energy ratings mean?

As we mentioned earlier, the energy efficiency of your property is measured on a scale of A to G, with A being the best for energy efficiency and G being the worst.

The average EPC rating in the UK is a D, so if your property has a letter rating above this (i.e. A to C), then your property is going to stand out more to buyers and be more appealing.

If you have received an EPC certificate with a bad rating and you’re worried about how it may put off buyers, then some slightly good news is when receiving your EPC, you will be given recommendations on what you can do to make your property more energy efficient.

This is information that you can pass on to potential buyers to try relieving their worries about the potentially massive costs of a house with poor energy-efficiency.

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How do I get an EPC?

To get an EPC, you will need a government-accredited energy assessor to examine your property and assess the energy efficiency levels. Once the assessor has viewed your property, they will award you with a certificate and some recommendations on how you can improve your energy efficiency.

This means when advertising your property you will display your EPC and the current rating but also the ‘possible’ EPC rating if the improvements are made.

How much do they cost?

There are no set prices for an EPC, as it will depend on the size and location of the property, however, they tend to cost up to £120 plus VAT.

To get the best deal you will need to ‘shop around’ and see who can offer you the lowest price, but this will be quite time-consuming.

How long are they valid for?

An EPC is valid for 10 years from the date it was issued. If a house has changed ownership, this won’t mean that a new EPC needs to be done, as the certificate is linked to the house and not the owner.

If you’re unsure whether you have a valid EPC and you’re wanting to sell your property, you can check the official EPC register on the government website to check if your property is covered.

Why are EPCs important?

In the UK, our houses currently make up 27% of the UK’s carbon emissions which is having a massive impact on the worries of global warming.

It was reported recently by the United Nations that global warming is already having worse effects on our planet than originally expected, with species of trees and animals being killed off and people being driven from their homes with the sea levels rising.

As well as the environmental impact of being energy efficient, there’s also the advantage the homeowners of money being saved in bills, with an average of £300 in possible savings a year.

Also, an EPC will be important to a buyer as more energy-efficient homes (A or B rating) tend to attract a premium of around 1.7%. On the flip side, properties rated F or G tend to attract a discount of 3.5%, so buyers may use an EPC as a negotiation tactic.

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Do I need an EPC to sell my house?

If you’re looking to sell your house and you’re worried about the length of time and money it will cost to get an EPC, you’ve probably jumped straight to this section thinking ‘do I NEED an EPC to sell my house?’

Well, by law, yes you are legally required to have an EPC in order to sell your property. It’s your responsibility as the seller to make sure your EPC is in date and, if it isn’t, you get yourself a new one.

If you don’t have an EPC, and so, therefore, can’t produce one when requested, you risk being fined up to £5,000.

However, it’s not all bad news.

If you’re needing to sell your property FAST and don’t have the time or money to spend getting your EPC up to date, you do have another option…

Sell to us!

Here at The Property Buying Company, we’re a cash buyer of houses buying any property in any condition and location. We will handle the whole procedure for you from start to finish, making us the most hassle and stress-free way to sell your house.

We specialise in fast sales, with an average completion time of 2 weeks, but that isn’t to say we haven’t completed in 7 days before…

We will also cover all the costs - no legal fees! Yes, this does mean if you need an EPC, we will cover it for you and still be able to complete in a fast timescale.

On top of this, we’re members of The Property Ombudsman and the National Association of Property Buyers, AND we’re rated excellent on Trustpilot with over 1,000 reviews – we’re the guaranteed buyer that you’re looking for!

Ready to get your house sold fast, without needing to pay for a new EPC? Give us a call or fill in our online form for a free, no-obligation CASH offer which we could have in your bank in FULL in as little as 7 days…

Tom Condon

Tom Condon, one of our content writers, has fascinating expertise in sustainability in the property industry. Tom thoroughly understands the market and has experience in both residential and commercial property. He enjoys attending conferences and staying current with the most recent property trends.