The Energy Performance Certificate Explained

If you are planning to sell or let your house, you will need to ensure it has a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before you market the property.

To help you understand what an EPC is and how it affects your sale, we’ve put together this handy guide with everything you need to know about the energy performance certificate explained.

What is an EPC?

An EPC is an important document that most property owners need if they are selling or renting out their house. With four pages of information, an EPC establishes a property’s energy efficiency, energy costs and sets out potential improvements. An EPC is valid for ten years.

Properties are rated using a lettered traffic light system. A (green) is the best possible rating indicating an energy-efficient house with no need for improvement. G (red) indicates the house is extremely inefficient, contributing a high quantity of CO2 emissions and costing a lot to run. The EPC rates all the different features of the house that affect the overall rating, including things like cavity wall insulation, double glazing, solar water heating and low energy lighting.

Who Needs an EPC?

When it comes to selling or letting property, an EPC is required in almost all cases. You are legally required to obtain an EPC seven days prior to the house being marketed.

An EPC is an important document containing crucial information about your property that might not otherwise have been revealed before conveyancing, so a potential buyer or tenant will want to see it before they make any commitments. A highly rated EPC will make your property more desirable, but if it reveals any serious problems, your sale price may need to reflect the cost of necessary improvements.

While the majority of properties being advertised for sale or rent require a valid EPC, there are a few instances where one isn’t required. These are:

  • Holiday lets that are used for less than 4 months per year
  • Residential property that will be used for less than 4 months per year
  • Listed buildings
  • Places of worship
  • Temporary buildings with less than 2 years of intended use
  • Non-residential buildings that use a small quantity of energy

Does My Property Have an EPC?

An EPC is valid for ten years, so if you purchased your property recently, it might already have a valid certificate. It’s very easy to check if your property has a valid EPC, but if you are selling your house with an estate agent, they will be able to check, and if necessary, obtain the certificate for you.

If you find that the certificate is out of date, you can arrange to have a new one created. Simply head to the government website to find information about local assessors. This will usually require a physical survey of your home.

So that’s the energy performance certificate explained. If you need to sell your house fast, but your property has a low energy efficiency rating – perhaps due to structural issues or problems with the heating system – selling to a specialist cash property buyer could be the only way to guarantee a fast house sale.

Instead of letting energy efficiency hold up your sale, get in touch with our friendly, professional team of experts here at Zoom Property Buyer. We can take your property off your hands quickly and you could have the money in your bank account within 7 days. Call 0333 880 4362 or submit an enquiry online.


Picture of Bobby Turner

Bobby Turner

Market research, writer & property specilaist for Zoom Property Buyer. Over 10 years in property sector. Previously at WhatHouse?