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Understanding your Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

The layout and format of EPCs had a significant update in September 2020.This coincided with the government bringing the hosting of the EPC register in-house. Below we break down a domestic EPC into easy to understand segments and explain each one.

If you have an old style EPC that does not look like the images below, don't worry, you can easily download the same document in the new format from the new EPC register.

The biggest change that happened to EPCs in 2020 was that the documents went from being a downloadable PDF stored on separate registers, depending on whether they were for domestic or commercial properties, to all being hosted on one government run website. Also EPCs are no longer formated as downloadable PDFs. It is now the webpage on the .gov website itself that is the legal EPC.

Over the next 4 pages we break down and explain the EPC and Recommendations in 9 sections, which you can navigate using the contents to the right. Click on the green outlined sections below to see their respective explanations.

Page 1,2,3,4

Section A - Core Information

The key information about the property is found in the first section of the EPC. This details the address of the property the EPC relates to, it’s energy rating (on a scale of A+ - G), the expiry date of the certificate, the certificate number (which can be used to locate the certificate in searches), the property type, and total floor area of the property in square metres. You are also provided with a clickable contents section that will take you to whichever section you click.

Address: The address of the property that was surveyed.

Energy Rating: The EPC letter score that the property has achieved at the time of the assessment. This rating is looked at in more detail in Section C.

Valid Until: The date that the EPC is valid until. After this date the EPC is expired and cannot be used to let or sell properties. The EPC is valid for 10 years from the date of production.

Certificate Number: The unique report reference number for the certificate. This can be used to locate the certificate on the EPC register. It is important to note that one address can have multiple EPCs, with the newest version overwriting the older ones, however the Certificate Number is unique and will only ever refer to an individual EPC. Sometimes it can be hard to find an EPC on the register when searching by address, but searching by Certificate Number will always take you straight to the relevant document.

Property Type: This is the classification of the property (Flat, Detached House, Semi Detached House etc). For the purposes of the EPC any property that has another property above or below it is classified as a flat. This classification does not have any affect on the result of the EPC as this is based on actual measurements of property volume and external wall areas etc.

Total floor area: This is the total floor area of your property measured in square meters. Outbuildings are not included in the EPC survey unless they are heated, habitable and internally accessible from the main dwelling.

Section B - Rules on Letting

This section simply explains Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) legislation, which states that as of April 2020 no property with an F or G rated EPC can be let out, regardless of if it’s a new or existing tenancy.

If you have an F or G rated EPC and want to know the best way to improve the rating, then our MEES report service is what you need. We will create a bespoke report for your property that will present you with several different ways that you can achieve your desired rating, with a focus on finding the most cost effective and least disruptive ways of doing so.

Section C - Energy Efficiency Rating

This section visually displays the property’s energy performance rating. Explanations of the graph and average property score are also provided.

Current: The rating that the property achieved at the time of the survey.

Potential: The rating that the property could achieve if all the recommendations, provided in Section F, were completed.

The energy efficiency rating is based on the estimated cost of heating, lighting, ventilating and heating water for the property. As well as being given an A to G rating, the property is given a score on a scale of 1 to 100 plus, the higher the number the more efficient the property is.

A simplified way to understand what this means is to think of the number score in terms of energy cost, so for a property with a rating of E-40, for every £1 spent on energy, 40p worth of the energy is used and 60p lost through inefficiencies. Likewise a house with a G-1 score is so inefficient that almost all money spent on energy is wasted, and a house with an A-100 score (which is only achievable with a large amount of renewable energy sources such as solar PV in place) has a net zero energy requirement, meaning it produces and supplies back to the grid as much energy as it uses.

It is important to note that the estimated energy use on the EPC only takes into account energy used for heating, lighting, ventilation and hot water, so energy used by appliances, for example, is not included. Also as the EPC is designed to be used to compare the efficiency of one property with another, it does not look at how the current residents actually use energy. Instead uses a standardised set of assumptions about how energy would be used. This allows a fair comparison between different properties.

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