How Important is an EPC When Buying a House?

How important is energy efficiency when buying a property

If you’re considering purchasing a property, there’s a vital factor you should be aware of: the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

This seemingly innocuous document provides crucial insights into a property’s energy efficiency and can greatly impact its value, appeal to buyers, and mortgage eligibility.

But what exactly is an EPC, and how important is an EPC when buying a house? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of EPCs, exploring their significance, how they are obtained, and the various factors that affect their ratings.

We’ll also discuss the roles and responsibilities of sellers, landlords, buyers, and tenants when it comes to EPCs, as well as cost-effective upgrades and long-term investments that can improve a property’s energy efficiency.

We will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of EPCs and their importance in the property market, allowing you to make well-informed decisions when buying or selling a home.

Short Summary

  • EPC ratings are an important factor in home buying, as they provide insight into energy efficiency, value and mortgage eligibility.

  • Government targets for upgrading homes to a C rating by 2035 will affect market trends and costs of modifications required to meet EPC standards.

  • Buyer preferences for energy efficient properties can significantly influence property values when making purchasing decisions.

The Significance of EPC Ratings in Home Buying

EPC ratings play a key role in the home-buying process, as they provide valuable information about a property’s energy efficiency.

A higher EPC rating indicates a more energy-efficient home, which can result in lower energy bills, increased property value, and greater desirability to potential buyers. In fact, enhancing a property’s EPC rating can result in an increase in its value.

A fifth of Brits (19%) wouldn’t consider a house with an EPC of below grade C, and 46% of potential buyers would rather have good insulation over a bigger garden according to research from the Mortgage Advice Bureau.

Moreover, EPC ratings are intrinsically linked to government targets for energy efficiency, which means they have a significant impact on market trends, mortgage eligibility, and property value.

As a buyer, being aware of a property’s EPC rating and the average EPC rating is crucial, as it can affect the property’s value, potential mortgage eligibility, and give an idea of the typical energy costs associated with the property.

Government Targets and Market Trends

The UK government has set ambitious goals to upgrade as many homes as possible to a C rating by 2035. This target is expected to have a significant impact on market trends and mortgage eligibility, as up to 15 million dwellings in England and Wales may require modifications to comply with EPC standards.

By upgrading homes to an energy-efficient C rating, homeowners can save on utility bills and enjoy a more comfortable living environment.

Furthermore, impending alterations to EPC regulations will require a minimum ‘C’ rating for new tenancies in the UK as of 2025 and for existing tenancies starting from 2028.

Properties with an EPC rating below the required standard may face difficulties securing a new mortgage agreement or selling the property, unless the cost is adjusted to reflect the investment necessary to bring it up to the applicable standard.

Landlords bear the sole responsibility for implementing modifications to adhere to EPC regulations. 

Buyer Preferences and Property Value

Considering the increasing importance placed on energy efficiency, it’s crucial for homebuyers to understand a property’s EPC rating when making their decision.

By understanding the energy efficiency rating of a property, buyers can make informed choices that not only benefit their wallets but also contribute to reducing their carbon footprint.

Understanding EPC Ratings

EPCs, or energy performance certificates, provide crucial insights into a property’s energy efficiency, with ratings ranging from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

These ratings are displayed on a certificate, valid for 10 years, which must accompany all UK properties sold since August 2007 and rented since October 2008.

EPC ratings provie information regarding a property’s energy use and potential savings, allowing potential buyers and tenants to estimate their energy bills.

While EPC ratings offer valuable information about a property’s energy efficiency, it’s important to note that new builds typically have higher ratings than older homes due to modern construction methods and materials.

This means that, in general, newer properties will have lower energy bills and be more appealing to buyers, while older homes may require additional investments to improve their energy efficiency.

New Builds vs Older Homes

New builds generally have higher EPC ratings than older homes, often achieving A or B ratings, thanks to contemporary construction methods and materials.

These higher ratings signify higher energy efficiency standards and translate into lower energy bills for owners and tenants.

On the other hand, older homes tend to have lower EPC ratings, usually around D or E, as a result of outdated construction methods and materials employed during their construction.

This distinction between new builds and older homes in terms of EPC ratings is important for buyers to consider when evaluating properties.

Investing in a new build with a higher EPC rating can result in long-term savings on energy bills and contribute to a greener environment.

Energy Performance Features

EPCs display a summary of a home’s energy performance features, providing homeowners with valuable information about the level of energy efficiency of different aspects of their property.

By understanding these features, homeowners can prioritise which areas to focus on when striving to enhance their home’s energy efficiency.

An EPC also includes estimated energy costs and suggestions for improving efficiency, enabling homeowners to make informed decisions on how to reduce their energy usage and lower their energy bills.

By implementing the recommendations provided in an EPC, homeowners can not only save money on energy bills, but also contribute to a greener, more sustainable environment.

Obtaining an EPC: Roles and Responsibilities

In the process of buying or selling a property, it’s essential to understand the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in obtaining an EPC.

The seller or landlord is responsible for arranging an EPC, which typically cost less than £100.

Buyers and tenants should ensure they understand the EPC rating of a property and its implications on energy costs, property value, and mortgage eligibility.

Failing to obtain an EPC when required can result in fines, so it’s crucial for all parties to be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to EPCs.

Accredited Assessors

An Energy Performance Certificate can only be produced by a qualified and accredited domestic energy assessor.

As qualified Assessors we can assist you in getting an EPC for your property. You can book and EPC online with us 24/7

EPCs are valid for a period of 10 years, so it’s important for sellers and landlords to ensure their property’s EPC is up to date before putting it on the market. If the certificate has expired or is missing, a new assessment is required.

As a buyer or tenant, it’s crucial to check the validity of a property’s EPC before making any decisions.

An expired or missing EPC may indicate that the property’s energy efficiency has not been accurately assessed.

Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Improving your home’s energy efficiency can have numerous benefits, including increased property value, lower energy bills, and greater appeal to potential buyers.

There are various cost-effective upgrades and long-term investments available to enhance a property’s energy efficiency, allowing homeowners to make informed decisions based on their budget and needs.

By implementing energy efficiency improvements, homeowners can not only enjoy a more comfortable living environment, but also contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.

In the following sections, we will discuss some cost-effective upgrades and long-term investments that can help you improve your property’s energy efficiency.

Cost-effective Upgrades

Simple, cost-effective upgrades can make a significant difference in your home’s energy efficiency and EPC rating.

Upgrading insulation, adding roof and loft insulation, installing energy-efficient windows, and utilising energy-efficient lighting are common recommendations for improving EPC ratings.

By investing in these cost-effective upgrades, homeowners can not only save money on energy bills, but also improve their property’s energy efficiency rating, making it more appealing to potential buyers and increasing its value.

Long-term Investments

For homeowners looking to make a larger investment in energy efficiency, options such as solar panels and ground source heat pumps can offer significant improvements in a property’s energy efficiency and value.

These investments can reduce energy costs, elevate the value of the property, and contribute to a greener environment.

While long-term investments in energy efficiency may require a larger initial outlay, the potential savings on energy bills and increased property value can make these investments worthwhile for many homeowners, especially when considering a property’s energy use.

EPCs and Mortgage Lending

EPC ratings can have a significant impact on mortgage lending, as some mortgage companies may take the EPC rating into account when determining whether to lend on a property.

A low EPC rating may signify greater energy costs, which could affect the affordability of the property for the borrower. On the other hand, a higher EPC rating may result in improved loan-to-value ratios, enabling homeowners to obtain larger loans.

In fact, 56% of property professionals believe lenders should take EPC ratings into consideration when determining mortgage rates.

As such, it’s important for both buyers and sellers to be aware of the impact of EPC ratings on mortgage lending and property valuations when making decisions in the property market.

Exemptions and Special Cases

While EPCs are a legal requirement for most properties, there are some exemptions and special cases to be aware of.

Listed buildings, for example, are exempt from EPC requirements, provided they meet certain minimum energy performance standards.

However, if a listed building had already been issued an EPC prior to the exemption being implemented, it must attain an E rating before being leased.

For homeowners of listed buildings or other exempt properties, it’s still important to consider energy efficiency, as improvements can reduce energy costs and contribute to a greener environment.

While double glazing might not be an option for these properties, switching to renewable energy, installing a more efficient boiler, and draught-proofing are some efficiency improvements that can be implemented without compromising the authenticity or structural integrity of a listed building.

These measures can help reduce both energy costs and CO2 emissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I buy a house with a poor EPC?

A poor EPC rating suggests higher energy costs and environmental impact. As long as the prospective purchaser is aware of these facts they can take into account the improvements that may need to be made which will be shown on the EPC Certificate.


Does EPC rating affect value of house?

The report found evidence that good EPC ratings can lead to a higher sale price, with properties rated A or B selling for 14% more per square metre.

Therefore, the EPC rating does affect the value of a house.


Can I get a mortgage on a property with a low EPC rating?

Generally, mortgages on properties with low EPC ratings may be hard to come by, and may require significant energy efficiency improvements. In some cases, applications may even be rejected outright.


What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provides an energy efficiency rating ranging from A to G for a property, which is valid for a period of 10 years.


How can I find an accredited energy assessor to issue an EPC for my property?

You can find a local assessor to you by going to

Stop guessing EPC rating


In conclusion, EPCs play a crucial role in the home-buying process, providing valuable insights into a property’s energy efficiency and potential savings on energy bills.

Whether you’re a buyer, seller, landlord, or tenant, understanding EPC ratings and their implications on property value, mortgage lending, and energy costs is essential for making well-informed decisions in the property market.

By investing in cost-effective upgrades and long-term investments to improve your property’s energy efficiency, you can not only enjoy a more comfortable living environment, but also contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.

With the increasing importance placed on energy efficiency in the property market, there’s no better time to start prioritising your property’s EPC rating.


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Rickie Dickson
Written by Rickie Dickson

Rickie Dickson is an experienced and qualified domestic and non domestic energy assessor. He helps homeowners and businesses in all matters relating to energy efficiency, from meeting building regulations compliance to improving a property’s energy rating score.