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Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

EPCs explained

Is your property as energy efficient as it could be? With changes in energy prices, now could be a good time to understand more about your home’s energy performance. 

Every home in the UK needs a valid EPC to be sold or rented out. This is a detailed estimate of a property’s current and potential energy efficiency. It can be a helpful source of information even if you’re not looking to sell or rent your home.

We asked the experts at Energy Saving Trust to explain how an EPC works, what information it can give you and how it can help you understand more about your home’s energy performance.

What is an EPC?

An EPC tells you how energy efficient your property is, giving it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). It also tells you where to improve and even estimates the savings you could make when the suggested changes are made. EPCs are valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

Examples of what an EPC could show:

  • Current and predicted energy use across your heating, hot water and lighting systems
  • A rating of your property’s construction, heating, hot water system and lighting
  • How to improve your rating and how much a specific improvement, like a suspended floor for better insulation, could help you save each year.

Property owners can get an EPC from an accredited domestic energy assessor. You can also find existing certificates on gov.uk.

Why is an EPC important?

Homeowners
A good EPC could mean big savings on energy bills. It can also give guidance on making improvements to your home (e.g. adding insulation or replacing single glazed windows with double glazed windows) to help improve its overall energy efficiency. If you’re selling or renting your home, you’ll need to have a valid EPC available for buyers or tenants.

Landlords
If you’re letting your property in England or Wales, it must have an EPC rating of ‘E’ or above to be rented or sold. This is due to Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards. If you’re letting your property in Scotland, it must have an EPC rating of ‘D’ or above.

Tenants
If you’re thinking about renting a property, check its EPC. It’ll help to estimate the cost of heating and hot water, which you could use to compare energy efficiency across different properties. Your letting agency is legally required to provide an EPC as it could impact your energy costs.

How can you improve your EPC?

The EPC will give recommendations to improve your score and estimate the potential rating you could get if you make the improvements. Recommendations are specific to your home, but could include:

  • Replacing single-glazed windows with double glazing
  • Insulating your hot water cylinder with a low-cost cylinder jacket 
  • Replacing traditional or halogen light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs
  • Fitting loft, wall and floor insulation to help improve your energy efficiency
  • Upgrading old boilers 
  • Installing a heat pump or storage heaters.

Find your current EPC and see how you could improve your energy efficiency at home.

All information and estimates provided by Energy Saving Trust are correct as of February 2024. Changes in the price of gas and electricity since the date of their estimates might affect the estimated savings. Cost and savings estimates vary depending on factors like where you live, the type of home you have, how it’s heated and the amount of work needed. This article isn’t advice and is for general guidance only - always do your own research before taking any action. We’re not responsible for the content of the websites mentioned in this article.

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