What Is An EPC Rating

what is an epc rating

A Guide to Understanding Energy Performance Certificates

Have you ever wondered, “what is an EPC rating?” and how energy efficient your property is, or how it compares to others in terms of energy consumption?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) provide valuable insights into a property’s energy efficiency, helping property owners, buyers, and renters make informed decisions.

This comprehensive guide will help you understand EPC ratings, their importance, and how they can impact your property-related decisions.

Short Summary

  • EPC ratings are used to assess the energy efficiency of a property and must be provided when selling or renting.
  • An EPC certificate contains important information about a property’s energy efficiency, CO2 emissions, estimated costs & recommendations for improvement.
  • Property owners should shop around for accredited assessors and consider implementing improvements such as insulation & LED lighting to improve their rating.

Understanding EPC Ratings

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that demonstrates a property’s energy efficiency, providing a rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

The average EPC rating for a home in the United Kingdom is D.

EPCs play a crucial role in property transactions, as they allow potential buyers and renters to compare the energy efficiency of different properties and make informed decisions.

EPC ratings are determined by accredited energy assessors, who evaluate a property’s energy usage, considering factors such as construction, heating, hot water systems, and lighting.

These assessors provide an energy efficiency rating for each element of the property.

By understanding the components and importance of EPC ratings, property owners, buyers, and renters can make smarter choices related to energy efficiency.


How EPC Ratings are Determined

To obtain an EPC rating, an accredited energy assessor must complete an assessment of the property.

This process involves inspecting all rooms, including the loft, as well as heating systems and controls.

The assessor then creates an EPC certificate, which consists of a graphic rating and a recommendations report.

The graphic rating illustrates the property’s energy efficiency, while the recommendations report outlines cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating and provides information on lighting, loft insulation, windows, heating, and more.

The purpose of obtaining an EPC is to evaluate the energy efficiency of different properties and identify potential energy efficiency improvements.

By comparing EPC ratings, property owners, buyers, and renters can gain valuable insights into the energy performance of various properties and make more informed decisions regarding property transactions and potential energy-saving measures.


The Importance of EPC Ratings

EPC ratings serve a vital purpose by motivating homeowners and landlords to adopt energy-saving measures.

They have helped individuals become more aware of the benefits of energy efficiency and increased visibility regarding the operational costs of properties.

For buyers and renters, EPC ratings are essential for assessing energy efficiency and making prudent decisions.

A low EPC rating can have a negligible effect on the saleability of a property.

However, the seller or landlord is responsible for organising an EPC before renting or selling a property.

By understanding the importance of EPC ratings and adhering to the legal requirements, property owners can ensure that their properties are energy efficient and attractive to potential buyers and renters.


Legal Requirements for Energy Performance Certificates

An EPC is legally required whenever a property is constructed, sold, or rented.

In England and Wales, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) mandate that all properties being let must possess a minimum EPC rating of E or higher.

It is the responsibility of the seller or landlord to arrange an EPC, and only accredited domestic energy assessors are authorised to create valid EPCs in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.


Selling and Renting Properties

As a seller or landlord, you must arrange for an EPC before renting or selling a property.

Failure to have an EPC could result in fines of up to £5,000, set to increase to £30,000 from 2025 under new government proposals.

Additionally, buy-to-let purchasers cannot rent a property with an EPC rating of F or G, changing to C in 2025.

All letting agents should ensure that the property has a valid EPC rating to avoid potential penalties.

Tenants should request an EPC from their landlord before moving in.

This document can help them plan their budget based on the estimated energy costs and make informed decisions about the property they are renting.

By adhering to legal requirements and providing EPCs, sellers and landlords can ensure a smooth transaction process and avoid potential fines.


Listed Buildings and Exemptions

Listed buildings have been exempt from EPCs since 2013.

To qualify for the exemption, they must adhere to the minimum standards for energy performance.

However, if a listed building obtained an EPC before the exemption, it must attain an E rating before it can be let out. An EPC rating of ‘E’ is required for a listed building before it is leased out.

Even though listed buildings are exempt from EPCs, it is still possible to implement efficiency improvements without compromising their aesthetics or structural integrity.

Some possible measures include switching to a renewable energy source, installing a more efficient boiler, and draught-proofing.

By understanding the exemptions and requirements for listed buildings, property owners can maintain their property’s energy efficiency while preserving its historical value.


Components of an EPC Certificate

An EPC certificate contains valuable information about a property’s energy efficiency, including estimated energy costs, energy performance-related features, and recommendations for improving energy efficiency.

By understanding the components of an EPC certificate, property owners, buyers, and renters can make better decisions and potentially save money on energy bills.


Estimated Energy Costs

The estimated energy costs of a property are included in the EPC and are based on factors such as the level of Carbon Dioxide emissions, the utilisation of different areas of the building, the energy source used to heat, cool, and ventilate a property, and the orientation of the property.

The EPC starts by assessing the current energy costs for lighting, heating and hot water related to the house. These estimates form the basis of the report.

It is important to note that the estimated energy costs section in an EPC does not include energy consumed for the operation of appliances, including computers, cookers, fridges, and televisions.

By understanding the estimated energy costs, property owners, buyers, and renters can make better decisions about potential energy bills and the overall cost of running a property.


Energy Efficiency and CO2 Emissions Ratings

The energy efficiency rating of a property is a measure that indicates the overall efficiency of a home, ranging from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

This rating is determined by the amount of energy the property consumes per square meter and the amount of energy lost.

The environmental performance table of an EPC displays the building’s carbon dioxide emissions rating, with A being the most favourable and G being the least favourable.

The potential rating in an EPC illustrates the rating that could be attained if modifications were executed.

By understanding the energy efficiency and CO2 emissions ratings, property owners, buyers, and renters can make informed decisions about a property’s environmental impact and potential energy costs.


Recommendations for Improving Energy Efficiency

An EPC certificate outlines the necessary measures to make a home more energy efficient. It also includes estimated costs for implementing the changes and potential savings that could be achieved.

These recommendations are displayed in sequence of precedence according to how much they could enhance the energy efficiency of the property.

Some typical suggestions for increasing energy efficiency in a property include ensuring all rooms are accessible, inspecting the heating system and controls, and evaluating renewable energy alternatives.

By implementing these recommendations, property owners can improve their property’s EPC rating and potentially save money on energy bills.


Obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate

To obtain an EPC, an accredited energy assessor must complete an assessment of the property, including inspecting the heating systems and controls.

By understanding the process of obtaining an EPC and selecting the right accredited assessor, property owners can ensure that their property’s energy efficiency is accurately evaluated.


Finding an Accredited Assessor

An accredited assessor is a government-approved organisation that is qualified to carry out Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

To locate an accredited domestic energy assessor, you can search the EPC register’s assessor page. By choosing an accredited assessor, property owners can ensure that their property’s energy performance certificate is accurate and reliable.

It is generally more cost-effective to go directly to a domestic energy assessor instead of obtaining an EPC through an estate agent.

By researching various EPC providers and comparing prices, property owners can secure the most cost-effective deal and potentially save money on their EPC assessment.


EPC Costs and Shopping Around

The typical cost of obtaining an EPC is lower for most properties, usually up to £120. However, it can vary depending on the property size and condition.

It is advisable to survey the market for the most advantageous EPC costs and compare prices among different accredited energy assessors.

This approach can help property owners save money on their EPC assessment and ensure that they receive the best value for their investment.

To find the best deal, it’s important to research various EPC providers and compare their prices and services.

This will help you identify the most cost-effective option and ensure that you receive an accurate and reliable energy performance certificate for your property.


The National EPC Register

The National EPC Register is the official database for all Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), Display Energy Certificates (DECs), and air conditioning inspections in the UK.

It permits individuals to look up and retrieve an EPC by report reference number (RRN) or address.

By utilising the National EPC Register, property owners, buyers, and renters can easily access and compare energy performance certificates for different properties.


Searching for EPCs on the Register

The EPC Register can be utilised to locate one’s EPC certificate or when comparing future homes and then the potential costs associated with running them.

To locate a property’s EPC, you can use the EPC retrieval page of the register, allowing for a search to be conducted by postcode.

By searching for EPCs on the register, property owners, buyers, and renters can access valuable information about a property’s energy efficiency and make informed decisions.

In addition to helping you find your own property’s EPC, the register can also be used to compare the energy performance of different properties.

This can be particularly useful for property buyers and renters, as it allows them to assess the energy efficiency of various properties and make more informed decisions about their potential energy bills and overall costs.


Opting Out of the Public Register

While the National EPC Register is a valuable resource for accessing energy performance certificate information, some property owners may prefer to opt out of the public register.

By opting out, your EPC will not be accessible to the public via the EPC Register. This can be particularly beneficial for property owners who wish to maintain their privacy or who have concerns about the security of their personal information.

To be removed from the public register, you must contact the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.

This can be done quickly and easily. By opting out, you can ensure that your property’s EPC information remains confidential while still complying with the legal requirements for obtaining an energy performance certificate.


How Long is an EPC Valid?

An EPC certificate is valid for a period of 10 years.

However, if you have made significant energy efficiency improvements to your property since obtaining your EPC, it may be beneficial to obtain a new EPC before renting or selling your property.

This will ensure that the most up-to-date information about your property’s energy efficiency is available to potential buyers or renters.

By keeping your EPC up to date, you can accurately showcase your property’s energy performance and potentially attract more interest from potential buyers or renters.

Additionally, an updated EPC can help you identify further energy efficiency improvements that could be made to your property, potentially saving you money on energy bills and increasing the overall value of your property.


Tips for Improving Your Property’s EPC Rating

Improving your property’s EPC rating can lead to lower energy bills, reduced environmental impact, and increased property value.

Some tips for enhancing your property’s EPC rating include installing wall and loft insulation, upgrading to LED lighting, and investing in double or triple glazed windows.

By implementing energy efficiency improvements, you can potentially save money on energy bills and improve the overall performance of your property.

Another way to improve your property’s EPC rating is to ensure all rooms are accessible, inspect the heating system and controls, and consider renewable energy alternatives.

By taking these steps, you can not only enhance your property’s energy efficiency, but also make it more attractive to potential buyers and renters.

With a higher EPC rating, your property is more likely to stand out in a competitive market and command a higher price.



Understanding Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and their importance is crucial for property owners, buyers, and renters.

By familiarising yourself with EPC ratings, legal requirements, and tips for improving your property’s energy efficiency, you can make informed decisions about property transactions and potential energy-saving measures.

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell, a landlord preparing to rent, or a property buyer or renter searching for the perfect home, a thorough understanding of EPCs will help you make the best decisions for your energy efficiency needs and contribute to a greener future.

Stop guessing EPC rating

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good EPC rating?

A good EPC rating is a C, which represents a score of between 69-80. This is the rating that is higher than the average UK property.


How EPC is calculated?

An EPC is calculated by an accredited energy assessor who inspects a property and takes a measured survey, photographs and records lights, windows, heating and radiators.

The assessor calculates the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) score, which is then used to determine the property’s EPC rating, based on how much energy it uses and loses per square metre.


What makes an EPC rating?

An EPC rating is calculated by assessing the energy efficiency of a property. The assessor looks at factors such as how much energy the property uses per square metre, and the amount of energy that is lost due to poor insulation.

Using these findings, the approved software assigns an EPC rating based on the property’s overall energy efficiency.


How good is EPC rating E?

Overall, an EPC rating of E is considered to be below average and indicates that there is likely to be a need for energy efficiency improvements.

As such, following the most common advice from experts is recommended in order to maximise energy efficiency and reduce your energy costs.


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Lewis Dickson
Written by Lewis Dickson