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UNDERSTANDING THE EPC SURVEY

An EPC can be defined as a certificate that contains information that explains the energy-efficiency of a property. The property in question is rated between an A and a G. The highest grade is an A, which is given to the most energy-efficient property, while a G is the lowest grade.

In most cases, older homes will have lower EPC ratings than newly-built homes. Their ratings usually range around D or E.

Before a house can be declared to be suitable for sale, it is essential for it to have an energy performance certificate. This process can be facilitated by an EPC provider, or preferably, your real estate agent.

For buy-to-let landlords, their property is required to have an EPC rating of nothing below an E before they can have a new tenant. By the year 2020, this rule will apply to all properties with existing tenancies as well.

The higher the rating of a property, the more likely it is to attract a buyer or a tenant. This is because it is an indication of lower energy bills which counts as an advantage.

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WHAT IS AN ENERGY PERFORMANCE SURVEY?

EPCs indicate the energy efficiency of a building. These ratings range between an A and a G. They allow the person or people that will be using the building to identify the expenses that they will incur from lighting and heating. EPCs also facilitate the identification of the building’s carbon dioxide emission levels.

EPCs are valid for 10 years from when issued.

An EPC will mention the changes in the ratings of energy-efficiency if enhancements are made. It will also highlight the cost-effective methods of attaining a better rating. In case you decide to rent your home, the improvements suggested in the EPC could be implemented. The validity of EPCs lasts up to years from the date of issue.

Once your property is put out for sale or rental services, it is essential that you have a ready EPC as potential buyers or tenants should have access to it. As a property owner, your EPC should be produced by an authorised Domestic Energy Assessor.

In case you decide to implement any of the energy efficiency recommendations listed in the EPC, it is possible to get a new EPC that will have the improvements included.

In various countries such as Northern Ireland, Wales, and England, EPCs can only be produced by accredited Domestic Energy Assessors. If you have hired a real estate agent to assist in the selling or renting of your home, it is possible for them to arrange on how an EPC can be prepared for you.

For those in Scotland, valid EPCs can only be produced by organisations that are approved by the Scottish Government.

If you wish to appoint a selling agent to facilitate the selling of your home, you could request them to plan on the making of a home report which should include an EPC and an Energy Report. It is important to note that Energy Reports are only produced by chartered surveyors who are registered with RICs.

For a list of approved EPC organisations in England and Wales, visit Landmark to view the energy performance certificate register.

For a list of approved EPC organisations in Northern Ireland visit Landmark for Northern Ireland.

For more information on EPCs in England and Wales, visit the EPC pages at Directgov.

For more information on EPCs in Northern Ireland, visit NI direct and see the Department of Finance office’s information on EPCs.

IS IT A LEGAL REQUIREMENT TO HAVE AN EPC?

An EPC is a requirement for a home that has been put up for rent or sale. Therefore, there will be an EPC for the constructed home, another one with the seller to serve the purpose of showing to potential buyers, and another one with the landlord to show prospective tenants.

However, there are a few exceptions. You do not require an EPC for listed buildings or rental rooms since upgrades are not supported.

Since 2008, the possession of an EPC to a homeowner in the UK has been a law. Therefore, any house that has been sold or let after 2008 should have an EPC.

You can take a look at the national register of EPCs to take a look at the previous certificates of your property. This can also give you the opportunity to compare the energy efficiency levels of your property with similar properties in your location.

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WHAT DO THEY CHECK ON AN EPC?

During EPC assessment, every room in the property is visited. It is, therefore, essential that cleaning is done before the survey. The process of EPC assessment is non-intrusive and brief.

Choose a professional Domestic Energy Assessor to carry out the job as they are highly trained. They are aware of your privacy rights, so will make efforts not to make you feel unsafe.

In case you want to carry out any improvements on your home, they should be completed before the EPC survey is carried out. This is because the domestic energy assessor will only evaluate the efficiency of the property as it is.

They do not consider the planned or ongoing improvements until they are evident and put to work. Changes on the Energy Performance Certificate can only be made after another assessment has been carried out.

It is important to note that new property requires a full Standard Assessment Procedure EPC while an existing property needs a Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure. For the latter, the assessor can only list the energy-efficiency measures that are visible and applied. Therefore, if there are advancements that cannot be seen on the property but are present, you will need valid documentation of the claimed procedures to serve as evidence.

WHAT DOES EPC A, B, C, D, E, F, G, RATING MEAN?

The ratings of environmental impact are based on the effects of a home to the environment regarding the emission of carbon dioxide. The lower the ratings of a home, the higher the impact it has on the environment and vice versa.

An Energy Performance Certificate will show the current and potential energy rating of a property. This process is referred to as the Standard Assessment Procedure(SAP)rating. It is the recommended system by the government to facilitate the production of home energy ratings.

The Standard Assessment Procedure charts are divided into seven groups, ranging from A to G. Each of the charts has potential and current energy rating that is out of the maximum efficiency which is 100 points.

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