Do I Need An EPC To Sell My House?


Yes, in most cases, you do need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to sell your house in the UK. An EPC provides potential buyers with information about the energy efficiency of a property, which can be a key deciding factor in the purchasing process. However, this is a broad answer, and specific details and potential exceptions must be understood. So, if you plan to sell your house, it's essential to delve further into this topic to ensure you're fully informed and compliant with the law.

What Is An EPC Rating

An EPC rating is essentially a measure of a property's energy efficiency, provided in the form of a report. Think of it as an energy label for a household or commercial property, similar to those you might find on appliances like refrigerators or washing machines. The EPC gives property owners, potential buyers, or tenants a glimpse of how energy-efficient the property is. This can include aspects such as the property's heating, cooling, and lighting systems. It serves as a helpful tool, giving a clear insight into the property's energy consumption, which can significantly impact running costs.

How Is An EPC Rating Calculated

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating is calculated by assessing various factors contributing to a property's energy efficiency. A qualified and accredited Domestic Energy Assessor carries out this assessment, visiting the property to gather necessary data.

During the property visit, the assessor evaluates vital elements such as the age and construction of the property, its size and layout, and the type and efficiency of its heating and cooling systems. The insulation of the property, specifically in the walls and roof, is also considered, along with the efficiency of lighting and the presence of energy-saving features such as double-glazing or solar panels. Once all this information is gathered, it's analysed using standardised methods to calculate the EPC rating.

It's important to note that the EPC rating isn't directly influenced by the property's energy consumption, which can vary depending on the occupants' habits and lifestyle. Instead, the rating focuses on the property's inherent energy efficiency features, providing a standard measure that enables potential buyers or tenants to compare different properties objectively.

What Are The EPC Rating Levels

EPC ratings are graded from 'A' to 'G,' with 'A' being the most energy-efficient and 'G' being the least:

  • A (92-100 points): This is the highest efficiency level. Properties with this rating are highly energy-efficient, with low running costs.

  • B (81-91 points): Properties in this range are still highly efficient, leading to reduced energy costs.

  • C (69-80 points): This score indicates a reasonably efficient property.

  • D (55-68 points): This rating is relatively average, with room for potential energy efficiency improvements.

  • E (39-54 points): Properties in this band are less energy efficient, and owners should consider improvements.

  • F (21-38 points): This low rating indicates significant energy efficiency improvements are needed.

  • G (1-20 points): This is the lowest rating, suggesting that the property has considerable room for efficiency enhancements.

Is There A Minimum EPC Rating To Sell A Property

In the UK, no minimum requirement for an EPC rating is required to sell a residential property. However, it is essential to note that while there isn't a specified minimum EPC rating for selling a property, a higher rating can make a property more attractive to potential buyers due to the promise of lower energy costs. For that reason, it's beneficial for property owners to invest in energy efficiency improvements to achieve a better EPC rating before selling their property.

Additionally, some local authorities in England and Wales have implemented Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), which require a minimum EPC rating of 'E' for rental properties. These standards do not currently apply to sales, but there are ongoing discussions about potentially introducing them in the future.

Can A Property Be Exempt From An EPC

Yes, certain properties are exempt from requiring an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in the UK, although these exceptions are relatively few.

Exempt properties include industrial sites, workshops, non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand, and certain temporary buildings. Furthermore, standalone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50 square meters are not required to have an EPC. Religious buildings and buildings officially protected due to their architectural or historical significance are exempt if compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance.

However, these exemptions are not based on the property's age. All residential properties, regardless of when they were built, generally require an EPC when sold, rented or built. To ensure you comply with the law, it's always best to consult a professional if you believe your property may fall into one of these exempt categories.

How Much Does An EPC Certificate Cost

The cost of obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can vary significantly, mainly depending on the size and location of the property. On average, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from £60 to £120 for an EPC. Prices may be higher for larger properties due to the increased complexity and time required to assess them. Getting quotes from multiple Domestic Energy Assessors is always recommended to ensure you are getting a fair price.

Remember that while cost is a factor, selecting a qualified and accredited assessor is equally important to ensure the assessment is accurate and compliant with regulations. Keep in mind that trying to save money by opting for a cheaper, less qualified assessor could potentially result in a less precise rating, which could impact the perceived value of your property.

Where To Get An EPC Certificate

To obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), contact an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA). DEAs can be found through several routes. You could ask your estate agent for recommendations or find an assessor by using online resources such as the EPC Register's 'Find a Domestic Energy Assessor' tool. This tool allows you to search for assessors in your local area by entering your postcode. Once you've selected an assessor, they will arrange a convenient time to visit your property and conduct the assessment. Remember to ensure that your chosen assessor is fully accredited to conduct EPC assessments, as using a non-accredited assessor could invalidate your certificate.

How Long Does It Take To Receive An EPC

The assessment usually takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the size of your property. Once completed, the assessor will provide you with your EPC certificate and a report detailing your property's energy efficiency and any recommended improvements.

In Summary...

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a critical document that depicts a property's energy efficiency on a scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). While no minimum EPC rating is required to sell a property in the UK, a higher rating is often more appealing to potential buyers due to lower energy costs. Certain properties, such as industrial sites, religious buildings, and buildings of historical significance, may be exempt from requiring an EPC.

The costs for obtaining an EPC can range from £60 to £120, depending on the property size and location. Accredited Domestic Energy Assessors, who can be found through various means like estate agents or the EPC Register's online tool, conduct the assessments. The process typically takes 1-2 hours, and the result is an EPC certificate with a detailed report of the property's energy efficiency.

View all Blog