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In this blog we're covering all things Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC. What is an EPC, when you need one, how long they last, and finally how to improve your EPC rating.

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What is an EPC?

EPCs rate a building on its energy efficiency. A less efficient building costs more to heat and light and is worse for the environment due to higher carbon dioxide emissions. The higher the rating the better; it ranges from A, very efficient, to G, inefficient.

As well as providing the current energy rating for the building, the EPC also lets you know what rating the building could acheive with some improvements to its energy efficiency.

When do I need an EPC?

If you're selling your house, or renting one out, you need an up-to-date EPC available for potential buyers as soon as you market the property for sale or rent. To get an EPC, you need an approved Domestic Energy Assessor to produce one for you. To find a Domestic Energy Assessor, or to receive a current EPC, you can visit the EPC register.

How long does an EPC last?

EPCs are valid from 10 years of the issue date. Bear in mind that if you implement any of the energy efficiency recommendations provided, you may want to get a new EPC created as it will hopefully have improved.

What is on an EPC?

An EPC consists of 4 pages:

Page 1

Starting on page one, an EPC shows estimated current and potential energy bills of the property. Very useful for getting an idea of how much a property you're considering living in may cost to run.

Bear in mind these costs only take account of heating, hot water and lighting, not the costs of using appliances. Therefore, your energy costs will likely be a little higher.

The next section on page one is the energy efficiency rating - the main bit most people will look at.

There will be an arrow pointing to the current energy efficiency rating, and next to it an arrow pointing to the potential rating.

Below this is a summary of things you can do to increase energy efficiency, along with the possible savings.

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Page 2

Beginning with a summary of the house's energy performance related features such as walls, floors and windows, the page then shows any low or zero-carbon technology in the property.

Below this is how much the property demands from heating and how you can reduce it by improving insulation.

Page 3

Recommendations are provided on page three for how to improve the energy efficiency rating of the property.

It lists recommended measures, estimated costs of implementing these, typical savings per year, and the rating after implementation.

Underneath these recommendations are alternative measures.

Page 4

The last page of the EPC provides basic information about the EPC, the date it was carried out, the assessor and their accrediting body.

Page four finishes with information about environmental impact. This includes carbon emissions from the property and compares it to the average.

How can I improve my EPC rating?

There are many ways to improve your EPC rating, some of these are more expensive than others, but don't worry as there are cheaper methods too.

Some of the more expensive methods are internal/external wall insulation, floor insulation, boiler replacement, solar panels or solar water heating, and replacing single glazed windows.

Cheaper methods consist of replacing light bulbs with low energy ones, increasing your hot water cylinder insulation, and implementing heating controls like room thermostats.

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Mathew McCorry

If you read my property blog now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you and I will make you read it.