Energy performance certificates (EPC’s) have been around now since 2008 and I imagine that most of us have seen the multicoloured ratings on fridges, freezers and other electrical equipment.
A similar rating regime is shown on all sales and letting particulars prepared by estate agents. The aim of the EPC is to alert owners and purchasers of the property’s energy efficiency and identify areas where capital expenditure could reduce running costs.
Some years ago, there was considerable debate concerning the Home Information Pack (HIP) which was, at the time likened to a house ‘MOT’ and included a type of survey, legal documents and an EPC.
The HIP was proposed to be included with most sale and letting documents, but from the outset there were many legal and other issues to overcome. The need to provide a HIP was dismissed by the Conservative Liberal democratic government in 2010, but due to EU regulations the need for an EPC was retained.
Currently an EPC is required when any self-contained residential building is sold or let. Listed buildings are exempt as are properties sold privately and not publicly advertised. A listed building is exempt since by its very nature and likely construction it cannot be insulated or improved with modern materials.
An EPC is provided by a specially trained inspector who will call and assess the construction of a property, and examine the insulation, windows, water tanks, heating systems and boiler controls. In the Worthing area, the preparation of an EPC might cost between £50 and £100 excluding VAT and could take up to say 1 hour to complete.
The EPC visual rating chart shows a coloured and alpha-numeric scale ranging from green (very efficient) to red (poor efficiency). The report indicates how the expenditure of capital might reduce household bills. Energy efficiency is highly topical in this era of global warming.
EPC’s are logged in a central database at the Ministry of Housing Communities and local government and can be readily accessed on the internet.