Energy Performance Certificates: Ten years on

The Energy Performance Certificate is 10 years old! EPCs were introduced on 1st August 2007 as a measure of the efficiency of homes and buildings. If you’re a private landlord and your EPC is more than 10 years old, you could soon fined for not having one. If you just have an EPC for your own home, there can be benefits in keeping it up to date for you too. Some of the earliest EPCs will expire next week, so if you were an early adopter of the scheme, it’s worth checking the date on your certificate!

How have EPCs changed the housing sector?

Energy Performance Certificates have encouraged landlords and homeowners to adopt energy saving measures, in order to improve their homes. They have helped make people more aware of the benefits of energy efficiency, and improve the living standards of residents and tenants.

In the commercial sector, EPCs have given greater transparency to prospective and existing tenants regarding a property’s expected running costs. An energy inefficient property classed as sunstandard by a low EPC rating signals that it will have higher heating costs. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the comfort of their tenants and not place unfair financial strain on them. This will now go further with the introduction (in April 2018) of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), which are designed to ensure better living conditions for tenants. Encouraging greater energy efficiency has the added benefit for the Government of helping it reach carbon reduction targets.

Do I need an EPC?

There are two types of EPC: domestic and commercial. Commercial buildings, for instance offices or warehouses, often require an EPC, depending on their size and what the property is used for. You’ll need a domestic EPC if you are renting or selling a property. Any landlord with a property rated lower than an ‘E’ will be liable for a fine of up to £10,000 if they rent it out. If you own the home and you are not selling or renting it, it can still be worthwhile having an EPC because it can help you have a more environmentally friendly home with lower bills. An EPC with a recommendations report gives you information on which elements of your home make it inefficient, and what you can do about it. Whether domestic or commercial, if your last EPC report was more than 10 years ago, you will need a new one. If it was more recent, but you have made any significant changes to your insulation, heating system or windows and doors since then, your rating may be improved if you get a new one now.

Find more information on MEES here.

Getting an EPC survey

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