EPCs explained

Learn more about Energy Performance Certificates

Is your property as energy efficient as it could be? With ongoing changes in energy prices, there’s never been a better time to understand more about your home’s energy performance. 

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

If you've never heard of an EPC, don’t worry. We have 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. 

While filming Barclays Street Talk we asked the nation if they knew what an EPC was.

I've got some home buying terms, that I'm going to throw at you, just see if you know what they mean.

Bridging Loan.


Home buyers report.

Umm, umm, umm, ooh.

Stamp duty.


I don't know what that is.

I know.

Stamp duty is a tax that is paid to the government when purchasing the property.


Hang on, that is Guzumping.

That sounds made up.

I got Gazumped quite few times.

Ooh no.

You're going through the process of buying it?

And then someone comes in with a higher offer and gazumpes you.


The opposite of the other one.

Om Ombus.

What is a mortgage?

I've heard tales of these things.


Can you use that in a sentence?

Energy performance certificate.

Going forward, every house is going to need to have an EPC.




Give me more of these terms, this is fun.

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’ll make when the changes are implemented. EPCs are valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

Some examples of things an EPC will show…

  • Current and predicted energy bills, broken down in heating, hot water and lighting
  • A detailed rating of the property’s construction, heating, hot water system and lighting. For example, is there adequate roof insulation?
  • How to improve your rating, and how much a specific improvement - for example a suspended floor for better insulation - can save each year

Property owners can obtain an EPC from an accredited domestic energy assessor, and existing certificates can be found here.

Why is an EPC important?

From the homeowners’ perspective, a good EPC can mean big savings on energy bills. And as energy (gas and electric) becomes more expensive, having a strong EPC can ease the pressure of increased energy costs. It can also give guidance on retrofitting your home (e.g. adding insulation or glazing to your windows) to help improve its overall energy efficiency. If you're selling or renting your home, you're required to have a valid EPC available for buyers or tenants.

Currently, properties to be let must have an EPC rating of ‘E’ or above. However, the UK Government has proposed changes to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for England and Wales. Although it’s not yet legislation, it’s anticipated that from 2025 all newly rented properties will need to have an EPC rating of at least C and 2028 for existing tenancies.1

If you’re renting a property, an EPC will allow you to compare energy efficiency across different properties. By law your letting agent must provide one, as it will impact your energy costs. Protecting the environment by reducing your carbon footprint is important, and if you can save money in the process even better.

How can you improve your EPC?


For owners, a “fabric first” approach is recommended. In short: insulation, insulation, insulation. Your first port of call should be loft, wall and floor insulation.

Other recommendations from Energy Saving Trust include

  • Replacing single-glazed windows with double glazed
  • Upgrading old, inefficient boilers
  • Hot water cylinder insulation with a low-cost cylinder jacket
  • Replacing traditional or halogen light bulbs with energy efficient LEDs

We all need to improve our energy efficiency, but we needn’t do it in the dark. Finding out what your current EPC is will help to light the way. For more tips to improve your EPC rating visit Energy Saving Trust’s blog

If you decide to access any of the third-party websites, you do so entirely at your own risk.

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