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Energy Performance Certificates
(EPC FAQS)
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What does EPC stand for and what is it?

EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. An EPC is a document that tells you the energy efficiency rating of a property, on a scale of A - G for domestic properties and A+ - G for commercial properties. EPCs are legal documents that must be in place for any property up for sale or rental, for more in depth information please read the FAQ page below, or for a more abridged version please see our Energy Performance Certificate pages.

What is a RdSAP EPC?

A RdSAP EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate for domestic or residential properties, RdSAP stands for Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure.

What is a SBEM EPC?

A SBEM EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate for commercial properties, SBEM stands for Simplified Building Energy Model.

What is a SAP EPC?

SAP calcs and EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate for new build or converted domestic properties, and the calculations are also used to demonstrate compliance with Part L1a or L1b of UK building regulations to Building Control. SAP stands for Standard Assessment Procedure.

What is a BRUKL EPC?

BRUKL reports and SBEM calcs are for new build or converted commercial properties and are used to demonstrate compliance with Part L of UK building regulations as well as creating an on construction EPC. BRUKL stands for Building Regulations United Kingdom part L.

When were EPCs brought in?

Both domestic and commercial Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) were first brought into effect in 2007 to measure the energy efficiency of residential and commercial properties; there have been various updates and additions to the legislation since they were first introduced, including MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) Regulations in 2018.

When is an EPC needed?

If you are planning on selling or renting out your property then it is a legal requirement that you have a valid (and with a passing rating) EPC for potential buyers and tenants, who have the right to request an EPC if you do not provide one immediately.

If you are planning on renting the property then, due to MEES legislation, you must have at least an E rated EPC. Learn more about MEES here.

When is a property exempt from needing an EPC?

Please note that properties that are not for sale or rental do not need an EPC unless the owner would like to know how energy efficient it is and how to improve the efficiency.

Commercial

The following types of property are most likely exempt from needing an EPC for sale and rent, however there are some circumstances when an EPC may still be required:

  • Under 50m2 AND detached (not touching any other buildings)
  • Places of worship
  • Temporary structures with a planned use of less than two years
  • Properties with a demolition order in place.

Listed buildings are still required to have an EPC, however due to the limitations on the works that can be carried out on them, they do not necessarily need to comply with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations if it would involve unacceptable alterations to the building. Nonetheless, an EPC is still required to calculate the efficiency and to prove that the rating cannot be raised without major prohibited works to the property.

Domestic

Prior to the introduction of MEES legislation in 2018 the only domestic properties exempt from needing an EPC for sale or rental were listed buildings, post MEES regulations this is more complicated. Listed properties for sale or rental now must either have an EPC with an E rating or better, or be on the MEES exemption register. To be accepted onto this register evidence must be provided as to why the improvement recommendations on the EPC are not suitable for the building, and the only way to do this is by having an EPC for the property.

The only domestic properties exempt from complying with EPC legislation are listed buildings for sale, however an increasing number of mortgage companies and financial institutions are refusing to carry out sale transactions unless either there is an E rated or better EPC in place, or the building is on the MEES exemption register.

How do EPC ratings work?

Energy efficiency of domestic and commercial properties are not calculated in the same way; they take different variables into account and are calculated using different methodologies, therefore if you have converted a property from commercial to domestic or vice versa then there is no guarantee that the ratings will be similar.

An EPC assessor will not be able to give you an estimate of your EPC rating whilst still on site, this is because they need to enter all of the data they have collected into the EPC software (and create a 3D model of the building for commercials), which calculates the efficiency depending on a range of variables.

Commercial

The energy performance of a commercial building is graded on both an A+ - G scale (G being the lowest rating and A+ the highest) and numerical scale from under 0 to over 150 (under zero being the best score possible and anything over 150 being the worst). The rating provided is known as the energy rating, and factors such as the property’s heating and lighting affect the final grade. On an EPC you will also be provided with benchmarks of ratings that similar buildings have achieved as comparison. To rent out a commercial property legally it must have achieved an E rated EPC or above.

Domestic

The energy performance of a domestic building is graded on both an A - G scale (G being the lowest rating and A the highest) and a numerical scale (1-20 being the worst and 92+ being the best achievable scores). The grade that you receive is known as the Energy Efficiency Rating, and factors such as the property’s construction and heating can affect your final rating in addition to the standardised assumptions about occupancy numbers and individual energy use. Currently, the average dwelling in England and Wales will achieve a D rating. To rent out your domestic property legally it must achieve at least an E rating on it’s EPC.

How to improve an EPC rating?

Similarly to the assessor not knowing the rating of a property whilst still on site, the assessor will not be able to tell you with certainty how to raise the rating of your property’s EPC without running the data, as there are too many variables in play to make an accurate estimate.

If your EPC results in a low rating the EPC software will create a generic Recommendations Report on ways to improve the energy efficiency of the property, however this report suggests ways that MAY work for your property based on similarly based properties. This means that there is no guarantee that these software generated recommendations will improve the rating of your property. On top of this, the recommendations may not be the easiest or most cost efficient ways of bringing up the rating.

If you are looking for assured ways to raise the rating of your property’s EPC then Easy EPC’s MEES Consultancy could be the option for you. We use the raw data collected from your EPC survey to create various scenarios in the EPC software continuously until we find the most cost effective and time efficient ways to bring your rating up to the necessary score for your purpose. To find out more about MEES legislation visit our resources page, or to find out more about MEES Consultation you can either visit our product page about it or give one of our friendly admin team a call on 0800 170 1201 (Office hours are Mon - Fri 9:00 - 17:30 excluding Bank Holidays)

How long are EPCs valid for?

Both domestic and commercial EPCs are valid for 10 years from the date of the certificate, unless superseded by a more up to date certificate. Commercial recommendation reports also last for 10 years.

How to check if I have an EPC?

All EPCs are lodged to the national register on which you can search via postcode to check whether your property has an EPC or not.

How long do EPC surveys take?

Domestic

For domestic properties up to four bedrooms it will take approx 15-45 minutes on site for the assessor to collect all of the necessary data for the calculations, and after the site visit the assessor will need to process the data and finalise the EPC certificate at the desk. Here at Easy EPC we aim to have the documents ready 1-2 working days after the date of the appointment.

Commercial

For commercial properties the amount of time spent on site varies largely depending on the size and complexity of the property, we advise asking the assessor when planning your appointment for a rough estimate. After the appointment, the assessor will need to build a 3D model of the property and run the calculations at the desk to complete your EPC certificate. We aim to have the documents ready 2-3 working days after the date of the appointment.

How much is an EPC?

Here at Easy EPC we always offer bespoke quotes per property, rather than having a set pricing matrix, meaning that our customers always receive the best price possible.

To provide a domestic EPC quote we will require some basic information such as the postcode and number of bedrooms in the property, if you are able to provide further information such as floor plans and/or the full address of the property then we may be able to offer you a cheaper quote. If you would like to make an enquiry you can either call us on 0800 170 1201 or fill in our contact form and one of our admin team will be in touch shortly (Office hours are Mon - Fri 9:00 - 17:30 excluding Bank Holidays).

For commercial EPC quotes the minimum information we require is the postcode, approx floor area in M2 or SQFT, number of floors, and what the property is used for. If you are able to provide the full address of the property and/or floor plans (or number of zones* in the property if you do not have floor plans) then we may be able to offer you a cheaper quote.

We work with many managing agents, landlords and estate agents alike who have large portfolios of properties in the same place and due to the number of bookings we can apply bulk discounts to their quotes. If you have multiple properties in the same postcode, or an extensive list of properties across the UK we can offer you a bulk booking discount. Please be aware that for bulk discounts to apply to properties in the same place the surveys must be booked in at the same timet. To see how you can save with us give us a call on 0800 170 1201 or fill in our contact form and one of our admin team will be in touch shortly (Office hours are Mon - Fri 9:00 - 17:30 excluding Bank Holidays).

*Zones are rooms, hallways, stairwells/cases, walk in cupboards, and WCs.

Why are EPCs important?

From a legal point of view if you are a property owner/landlord you do not have an EPC for your property at the appropriate times then you are liable to pay a fine, for domestic properties the penalty is £200 (per offence) and for commercial the fine is 12.5% of the net annual value of the property (per offence). These fines can be issued from either your district council or the Department of Finance.

From a monetary point of view then having an up to date EPC is important as it can help guide money saving improvements for your home or commercial property.

EPCs are an important step in the right direction for meeting the government set 2050 target, which aims to have cut the UKs emissions to net zero by 2050. This target is helping make the necessary changes to help battle global warming and all of the other environmental issues caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

Why is my EPC rating so low?

Without having seen the raw data from the EPC for your property it is impossible to say for certain why your EPC rating is low, this is because there are many variables that are used in the calculation that provides the EPC score. Saying this, data about the lighting, heating, and construction of the property is predominantly what an assessor collects when surveying; if you don’t have any lighting or heating installed in the property when it is surveyed then it’s defaulted when the data is entered, so if your property doesn’t have any lighting or heating this may be affecting your score.

If you would like to find out the cause and ultimately how to improve your low EPC rating read up on how our MEES Consultancy Service can help increase your propertys’ energy efficiency.

Who regulates EPCs?

Your district council will enforce and regulate all EPCs except any on their own public buildings, which the Department of Finance will regulate. Your district council and the D.O.F. have the authority to issue fines if you cannot make the required documents available within 7 days from request. The penalties are £200 for a domestic property, or 12.5% of the annual net value of a commercial property. District councils and the D.O.F. also regulate TM44 Air Conditioning Reports and DECs (Display Energy Certificates).

If you are not sure whether you have an EPC or not you can check on either the national EPC register by searching with the postcode.

Whose responsibility is it to have an EPC?

It is the building owner's responsibility in cases of sale or landlord's responsibility in cases of rental to obtain an EPC for the property to provide to prospective buyers or tenants. When an agent has been instructed to sell/rent out a property, or an owner/landlord is selling/renting out on their own behalf, they must ensure that the EPC is included in all marketing material created and distributed for the property. Marketing material does not include the advertising boards outside of properties but can include property websites, brochures, and particulars.

Who supplies EPCs?

By law, Energy Performance Certificates must be completed and lodged to the relevant register by an accredited assessor, examples of popular accrediting bodies are Elmhurst, Stroma, Quidos, ECMK, Sterling, and CIBSE.

Here at Easy EPC all of our assessors are fully accredited and insured, and we have been providing energy performance certificates since they were introduced in 2007. We provide all types of Energy Performance Certificates including domestic (RdSAP), commercial (SBEM), new build domestic (SAP), new build commercial (BRUKL), and Display Energy Certificates (DEC).

We work with well-trusted assessors all over the UK, meaning that we can help you with all of your EPC needs, wherever you are. Give us a call on 0800 170 1201 or fill in our contact form for an EPC quote, or to ask us for more information about our assessors, our accreditation or insurances, and more.

What happens if you get a low EPC rating?

If your domestic or commercial property achieves below an E rating then you cannot legally rent it out. There are currently no regulations on a minimum EPC rating for sale, although many agents and financial institutions are now refusing to carry out sale transactions on F and G rated properties.

If your property has got a low rated EPC and are looking to rent it out then you can find out how to accurately and efficiently improve your propertys’ EPC to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards with our MEES Consultancy Service.

Are EPCs required for holiday lets?

If the property is let continuously for less than 8 months of the year then it will not need an EPC, however if it is let continuously for 8 months or more then it will need either a domestic or commercial EPC, depending on the type of property (houses, flats, bungalows etc. need domestic EPCs, offices require commercial EPCs).

Are EPCs required for HMOs?

EPCs are still required for HMO properties, however the type of EPC that your property requires varies. If your property is a purpose built HMO then it will most likely need a commercial EPC, if your property was a home dwelling converted into a HMO and could easily be used again as a “family home” then it will most likely require a domestic EPC, we advise checking with your local authority/council to be sure before instructing any EPCs. We will need to know if the occupiers are or would be liable to pay council tax or business rates.

How long is my EPC quote valid for?

Easy EPC domestic EPC quotes are valid for 1 year before they need to be re-quoted by one of our admin team, if you have received a bespoke quote then this is only valid for 1 week before our Domestic Manager will need to look at it again.

Easy EPC commercial EPC quotes are valid for 6 months before they will need to be re-quoted.

If we do need to re-quote, we will always try to keep the quote as similar as possible for you. The quote validity starts from the day that the quote was first provided to you, whether over the phone or via email. Please be aware that if you have received a bulk-discounted quote for a number of properties and would like to go ahead with less than the number quoted for, then we will most likely have to re-quote.

How long until my EPC is ready?

If you are booked in with us, then domestic EPCs take 1-2 working days from the appointment and commercial EPCs take 2-4 working days from the appointment to calculate and finalise at the desk. When your documents are ready you will be notified by text that your invoice is ready in your email inbox, if you can’t find it then please try checking your Spam/Junk folders, as sometimes they get stuck in spam filters due to the attachments. If you still can’t find your invoice and it has been the correct amount of time post survey, please contact one of our admin team via phone on 0800 170 1201 or fill in our contact form (Office hours are Mon - Fri 9:00 - 17:30 excluding Bank Holidays).

How to prepare for EPC survey

Hidden Energy Saving Elements

If you have any hidden* energy saving elements in your property (for example, insulation, renewables, etc.) then you will need to provide evidence of its presence to the assessor either prior to or on the day of the survey, this can be a headed invoice from when the insulation was installed. If you cannot provide evidence then the energy saving elements cannot be included in the calculations for your Energy Performance Rating - this is industry standard as assessors must provide evidence for all of the data they input to the EPC software for quality assurance auditing.

*if you cannot see over 75% of something without intrusive action (drilling into walls, lifting floor boards, etc.) then it is counted as hidden.

Access

Whether you’re having a domestic or commercial EPC survey, the assessor will need to pop his head into every room in the property (including the loft in domestic properties, and commercial if accessible), please arrange all access requirements prior to the survey.

If you are having a Commercial EPC survey completed for a shop, cafe, or restaurant please ensure that all staff members/managers on shift at the time of survey know that our assessor will be arriving to complete a survey.

If you have any further questions please fill in our contact form and one of our admin team will be in touch shortly, alternatively you can give us a call on 0800 170 1201 (Office hours are Mon - Fri 9:00 - 17:30 excl. Bank Holidays).

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