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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Getting an Energy Performance Certificate

Find out how to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), when you should receive one and when you should provide one. Also, find out about energy assessors who produce EPCs, and what to do if you are not happy with their work.

How to get an EPC

An EPC is required by law when a building is built, sold or put up for rent. If you are a landlord or homeowner and need to provide an EPC, you'll need to contact an accredited domestic energy assessor. They will carry out the assessment and produce the certificate.

Accreditation schemes make sure that domestic energy assessors (DEAs) have the right skills and are able to carry out the survey to agreed standards. These schemes ensure that DEAs:

  • adhere to standards, codes of conduct and procedures
  • are qualified to conduct an energy assessment, produce the certificate and give advice
  • have the correct insurance
  • are part of a register
  • have had a criminal records check
  • have a complaints procedure

Domestic energy assessors may be employed by a company (like an estate agent or energy company) or be self-employed. Always check that your domestic energy assessor belongs to an accreditation scheme.

Finding an accredited energy assessor

You can use the energy performance certificate register website to search for an accredited domestic energy assessor. This website is run by Landmark, on behalf of the government. You can also find accredited domestic energy assessors by searching online or by looking in the phone book.

How long is your EPC valid for?

EPCs are valid for ten years.

What an EPC costs

The price of an EPC is set by the market and will depend on the size and location of your property.

What to do if you are not happy with your EPC

If you are not happy, you should discuss your complaint with the domestic energy assessor who carried out your assessment. All domestic energy assessors must have a complaints process in place, so they should be able to provide you with a copy of their complaints procedure. If the complaint isn't resolved, you can take it to their accreditation scheme.

When you'll be given an EPC

By law you should receive an EPC in the following cases:

Buying a home

All sellers of homes need to ensure that they provide an EPC, free of charge to potential buyers.

Buying a newly built property

Buyers of newly built properties should receive an EPC, free of charge.

Renting a property

If you are interested in renting a property, the landlord must make an EPC available to you free of charge. However, you don’t need an EPC when you are thinking of just renting a room with shared facilities rather than renting the whole property.

If you are not in one of the above categories

Even if you don’t fall into the above categories, you can still apply for and receive an EPC from an energy assessor. This may be because you want to know how energy efficient your home is, and make improvements suggested by the recommendation report. Read ‘Energy Performance Certificates - what they are’ to find out more about what an EPC contains.

What happens if you are not given an EPC

If you're not given an EPC when you are entitled to it, you should contact the trading standards department of your local council. Trading standards officers have the power to issue a fixed penalty notice of £200 for domestic properties where an EPC is not provided.

If you are buying a newly built home and an EPC hasn’t been provided, you should contact the building control department of your local council.

The EPC Adviser – saving money by improving your home’s energy efficiency

The EPC Adviser is an online tool that shows you what you can do to make your home more energy-efficient. You just need your EPC reference number and it will calculate how much money and carbon you can save.

You’ll get an instant report that you can change depending on what you would like to do to your home. For example, you might be planning to add loft insulation. So you can add that and see how much money you could save.

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