What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and Why do I Need One?

Written on 3 May 2022 by Courtney Manton in Frequently Asked Questions

An energy performance certificate is essential, especially with the continuous increase in energy costs and current rise in awareness of the environmental impact of energy efficiency. You’ll need an energy performance certificate before you can sell or rent your property in Belgravia or the surrounding areas. Knowing what an energy performance certificate is and the data it contains can help you obtain valuable information about a property before you buy it or improve the energy efficiency of a property you live in or rent out.

Energy Performance Certificate

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) scores the energy efficiency of a domestic property on a scale of A to G. It gives potential buyers or tenants an idea of how costly it will be to heat and light the property and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.

An EPC also highlights how the property could be made more energy-efficient. Even if you rent your home, you could still implement some recommendations, such as switching to energy-efficient light bulbs.

EPCs are valid for ten years.

Why do I need an EPC?

Your property’s EPC needs to be available to potential buyers or tenants as soon as you start to market your property.

If you are buying or renting a new home, an EPC certificate allows you to compare the energy efficiency of properties on your shortlist.

It allows homeowners to identify areas that can become more energy-efficient, save on energy costs and provide an overall improvement on living conditions.

An EPC can be beneficial even if you are not selling or renting out your home. Homes account for almost 30% of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK; reducing this is vital to tackle climate change. The recommendations in your EPC report will enable you to make your home more environmentally friendly and reduce your fuel bills.

Who needs to get an EPC?

Anyone selling their home will need to have an Energy Performance Certificate before they market their property. This is especially true for properties in Central London.

It is a legal requirement for all landlords to have an EPC rating of E or above before letting their properties.

What is checked during an EPC inspection?

To get an EPC for your home you will need to have your property inspected by an approved energy assessor. The gov.uk website can help you find an energy assessor in Belgravia or central London.

It takes less than one hour to carry out an internal and external inspection of most domestic properties. The inspector will need access to all the rooms in the property, including the loft space. During the inspection, your energy assessor will inspect or measure the following:

  • Construction materials
  • Heating systems (such as your boiler and heating controls and how efficient they are)
  • Any solar gains found through openings in the property
  • The level of thermal insulation
  • Any renewable energy technologies
  • The fuel you use for water and space heating, light and ventilation
  • Air leakage

What can I expect to see on my EPC?

Your property will be given an energy efficiency score which is displayed on a chart like the one below. The higher the figure in the current column, the more energy-efficient your property. The figure in the potential column is based on the recommendations later in the report.

An EPC also states the actual and potential CO2 output for the property.

Each aspect of the property that is assessed is listed in the report and given a rating of very good, good, average, poor or very poor.

Following this, there is a list of recommended changes to improve the property’s energy efficiency. An estimate of the installation cost and annual savings are included.

There is also an estimate of how much an average household would spend on heating, lighting and hot water. This is not based on the energy consumption of the current occupants of the property.

How do I get a copy of my EPC?

You can easily find a property’s EPC from the government’s register as long as you have either the property address or the EPC certificate number.

How can I improve my EPC?

In Belgravia, properties with an EPC rating of C are typically worth 15% more than a similar property with an EPC rating of E – another incentive to improve your EPC rating.

The ratings are calculated using the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) methodology, which can only be produced by a qualified and accredited assessor.

The assessment is based on points that a property scores during the EPC inspection.

The EPC SAP points ratings are as follows:

  • A – 92-100 SAP points
  • B – 81-91 SAP points.
  • C – 69-80 SAP points.
  • D – 55-68 SAP points.
  • E – 39-54 SAP points.
  • F – 21-38 SAP points.
  • G- 1-20 SAP points.

Until Summer 2022, SAP 2012 is the version that will be used to demonstrate building regulation compliance and produce EPCs.

You can earn extra SAP points by making energy-efficient improvements.

For example, fitting a modern condensing-combination boiler, can earn you 62 SAP points while a fixed room heating system gives you only 33 points.

The future SAP 11 scoping project will come into force in 2025 and it focuses on improving SAP and RdSAP so they are fit for Net Zero.

Until Summer 2022, SAP 2012 is the version that will be used to demonstrate building regulation compliance and produce EPCs

How do I use an EPC as a seller?

An EPC is a legal requirement and expires every 10 years. Be sure to check your energy performance certificate, before you put your property on the market. You can use your EPC to appeal to more buyers by improving the energy efficiency of your property.

Many recommendations are very simple and won’t cost much money or time to implement. To improve your rating, try improving the insulation thickness of the property, replacing your boiler cover or even changing to energy efficient lightbulbs.

How do I use an EPC as a landlord?

An EPC is valid for 10 years and must be updated before renting out a property or starting a new tenancy. Minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) need to be considered. A property rented out cannot be below an E rating.

For an up-to-date valuation of your property’s rental and sale value in Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Pimlico, South Kensington or Westminster, contact Best Gapp today.

Courtney Manton

Courtney is a Chartered Surveyor, the senior partner and owner of the Best Gapp group.

His special talent honed over the last 30 years is winning. Winning for his many clients.

Winning a Leasehold Enfranchisement case, winning a negotiation to sell or buy, winning a lower rent at review, winning a planning permission to enhance value, winning trust.

All articles by Courtney Manton


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