This website is for intermediaries. Not an intermediary? Visit the customer website
EPCs Frequently Asked Questions
Always seemingly in the news, Energy Performance Certificates remain a work in progress. Nevertheless, they are important, both as the main measure for the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regime, and as a driver for other ESG-related regulation in the property industry.
We've put together the most frequently asked questions on EPCs to help brokers better understand some of the issues facing landlords who want to upgrade their properties.
What is an EPC?
An EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate and it’s a legal requirement to have one before you sell or rent your property.
The assessment provides an overview of the property's energy efficiency, taking into account the age and condition of the building.
It will not comment on the safety aspects or maintenance of the building, nor will the assessment confirm that the installed systems are fit for purpose.
The certificate also highlights areas for improvement and gives you and others an overall picture of the energy usage for the whole property, taking into account things like roof insulation, window glazing and heating systems.
You can find more information is on the Government website: A guide to Energy Performance Certificates for the construction, sale and let of dwellings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
How is an EPC rated?
The better the rating, the more energy efficient the building is, and the lower the energy bills are likely to be:
- ‘A’ is a score of 92 – 100, meaning the property is very efficient and has lower running costs.
- At the bottom of the scale is ‘G,’ with a score of 1 – 20, meaning it’s not energy efficient and has higher running costs.
What is the current regulation?
The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented properties. The Regulations apply to all domestic private rented properties that are:
- Let on specific types of tenancy agreement.
- Legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
- Since 1 April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES Regulations if they have an EPC rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption in place.
- If a landlord is planning to let a property with an EPC rating of F or G, they need to improve the property’s rating to E, or register an exemption, before they enter into a new tenancy.
- If a landlord is currently letting a property with an EPC rating of F or G, and they haven’t already taken action, they must improve the property’s rating to E immediately, or register an exemption.
- If the property is currently empty, and the landlord is not planning to let it, they don’t need to take any action to improve its rating until they decide to let it again.
Are there potential changes to the regulation?
In his speech on Net Zero on 20 September 2023 the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak dispensed with the proposed planned timetable which would have fallen on new tenancies from 1 April 2025 and all tenancies by 1 April 2028.
Previously the Government had committed to upgrade as many private rented sector homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2030, where practical, cost-effective and affordable.
Who needs an EPC certificate?
Homeowners and landlords will need to request an EPC certificate for a property they are selling or renting in the UK.
Estate agents or letting agents should ensure there’s a valid EPC certificate for any property they're selling or letting on behalf of a client.
As a buyer or renter, you should not have to pay for an EPC. It is the responsibility of the seller or landlord to make sure you have access to an up-to-date certificate.
New-build homes will have a Predicted Energy Assessment before they’re finished.
Why is an EPC important?
If you're buying a new home, an EPC certificate could help you compare properties you might be looking at and it can give guidance on retrofitting your home to help improve its overall energy efficiency.
A good EPC can mean savings on energy bills.
As of 1 April 2018 all private rented properties in the UK must meet the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard. This was introduced to raise the standards of rental properties and inspire landlords to make them more energy efficient. A property can be rented if it has an EPC rating of E or above, in most cases it is illegal to rent a property if the rating falls under F or G.
To raise the rating landlords can make improvements however if it’s not possible to improve the property to at least an E rating for £3,500 or less (including VAT), then it is advisable to make all the improvements which can be made up to that amount and then register for an ‘all improvements made’ exemption.
The UK Government has proposed changes to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for England and Wales. Although it’s not yet legislation, the changes anticipate that from 2025 all newly rented properties will need to have an EPC rating of at least C and 2028 for existing tenancies.
If you’re renting a property, an EPC will allow you to compare energy efficiency across different properties.
How long is an EPC valid?
EPCs are valid for 10 years or until replaced with a newer one. If you’ve made energy-efficient changes to your property, you should get a new assessment to see if the rating has changed.
Do I need a new EPC every time I sell or rent out my property?
As long as a valid EPC exists for the property, this can be provided to any prospective buyer or tenant.
An EPC is valid for 10 years and during this period the same EPC can be provided to any prospective buyer or tenant.
This EPC is no longer valid if a more recent EPC has been lodged on the central register.
How can I find an existing EPC certificate?
When you bought your home or started renting, you should have been given a copy of your EPC.
However you can also find out if a property already has an EPC certificate online too. If the property is in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you can find the existing certificate through the UK Government website https://www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate or if in Scotland through scottishepcregister.org.uk.
The registers will allow you to check your EPC rating and find out when it expires.
How do I get a new EPC certificate?
If your property does not have a valid EPC, you can organise for an accredited and qualified energy assessor to visit and give you an up to date certificate.
If you're selling your home, your estate agent may offer to arrange it for you.
Energy assessors will need to be qualified for the type of building being assessed.
To become a member of an accreditation scheme the energy assessor must:
- Demonstrate their competence, either by having a recognised qualification from an awarding body or approved prior experience and learning equivalent to the national occupational standard requirements.
- Maintain appropriate professional indemnity cover.
- Update their skills and knowledge regularly.
- Participate in the accreditation scheme quality assurance procedures.
- Abide by the accredited scheme advice and guidance.
- You can find a local accredited energy assessor via the EPC register https://www.gov.uk/get-new-energy-certificate.
Who produces energy reports and EPCs?
Accreditation schemes are responsible for managing energy assessors and for monitoring the quality of the EPCs by ensuring their energy assessors are competent and possess the appropriate skills to conduct energy assessments.
How long does it take to get an EPC certificate?
Although you can request a new EPC online, it is a physical survey, so an accredited and qualified energy assessor will need to visit the property to carry out the survey.
The assessor will look at all areas of your home, so you can expect them to take photos and measurements during their visit. They’ll need access to the loft spaces and all rooms as well as heating controls.
The cost of an assessment and the time taken to carry out the assessment may vary depending on the size of the property.
Your assessor will confirm how long it will take to prepare the report and will provide you with a digital copy of your certificate.
If you are unhappy with the assessment you can complain directly to the assessor or contact the assessor's accreditation scheme, whose details will be provided on the energy performance certificate.
When must an EPC be provided to any prospective buyer or tenant?
The property seller or landlord has a duty to make the EPC available to a prospective buyer or tenant at the earliest opportunity but no later than when a person requests information about the building or a person makes a request to view the building.
If the EPC is not available the property can still be advertised for sale or rent as long as the EPC has been commissioned before the building is marketed.
Vida will not provide a mortgage offer until the improvements have been completed and an updated EPC is available confirming the required rating (E or above)
Back to Top ↑
We get it. All you want is a quick answer when you need it. Call the V-Hub on 03300 246 246 and speak to our experienced team. Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm.
Prefer to email?
You can send your messages and enquiries to email@example.com and we'll get back to you ASAP.