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Energy Performance Certificates explained and how to improve your score

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Michael Brown

Acting Editor
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EPC score and house

At a glance

  • An EPC is a rating given to your home which determines its energy efficiency
  • There are several mortgage lenders which now include additional incentives for homes with a certain EPC score

  • EPC scores can also help you determine your monthly energy bills. 

As the UK plans for its 2050 net-zero target, your home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will likely play an important role in encouraging the country to be eco-friendly. This is because your home can be one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and a test to see how it contributes towards sustainability can influence renters, landlords and homeowners alike.

So, below we’ve explained what an EPC is, and how it may influence the property market.

What is an EPC?

An EPC is a rating given to your home which determines its energy efficiency. This score is based on how much energy it uses, for example through heating, and how well it retains this energy. Carbon dioxide emissions also play a role in your overall score. 

Ratings typically fall into seven categories, from A to G. Category A is the most energy-efficient rating and is usually awarded to newer houses with better energy savings features. Older homes, meanwhile, typically receive lower ratings unless they have undergone targeted renovations.

How long does an EPC last?

EPCs are valid for 10 years from the time of issue. So, before you decide to fork out money for a valuation, use the Government’s website to see if it already has a rating. 

Of course, if you conduct renovations at home which you think will improve your home’s energy efficiency then you can always order a new test.

How to get an EPC certificate

In order to get an EPC rating, you’ll need to get in touch with an accredited energy assessor. If you’re selling your home, your estate agent should help you with this process.

Prices for an assessor vary according to where you live and the size of your home. But as a rule of thumb, you can pay anywhere between £50 and £120 per valuation. 

Home research

Searching for your home’s EPC rating is free of charge. So, you can make the most of this by comparing the rating to other similar homes in your area. This could help you determine if your home needs work and, if you’re a seller, it can help price your property.

How to improve my EPC rating

The steps you can take towards improving your home’s EPC rating are based on reducing your home’s energy usage or improving its ability to retain energy.

To reduce your home’s energy usage, you could upgrade your home’s boiler or switch to LED light bulbs. Otherwise, to improve your home’s ability to hold energy you could look at implementing double-glazed windows and insulating your roof and walls.

The benefits of these two improvements will be felt in winter, as your home should retain much of its heating.

How will a good EPC rating impact my mortgage?

There are several mortgage lenders which now include additional incentives for homes with a certain EPC score.

This means if your home is particularly energy-efficient you may benefit from cashback, a free valuation or legal fees, among other incentives.  

To learn more on green mortgages, read our guide. 

Should I buy a property with a poor EPC rating?

This depends on where the home’s EPC rating stands, among other factors.

If you’re a buyer, you’ll need to determine why the property has a poor EPC rating. Then you’ll be able to establish how much it would cost to improve this rating, and if the price of your property is discounted appropriately.

If you don’t plan on making any energy-efficient improvements, you’ll need to remember that a lower EPC rating means you could pay more in energy costs compared to other properties. So even if your home is cheaper, these heightened bills may put more strain on your monthly budget.

Landlords and tenants

How will an EPC rating affect renters?

While renters don’t need to factor EPC valuations into their plans, these scores could help you determine how much you’ll spend on energy per month.

Is an EPC compulsory for landlords?

Yes, and it is important to remember that you can’t legally rent out a property which doesn’t have at least an E rating.

Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

EPC score and house

At a glance

  • An EPC is a rating given to your home which determines its energy efficiency
  • There are several mortgage lenders which now include additional incentives for homes with a certain EPC score

  • EPC scores can also help you determine your monthly energy bills. 

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Moneyfactscompare.co.uk will never contact you by phone to sell you any financial product. Any calls like this are not from Moneyfacts. Emails sent by Moneyfactscompare.co.uk will always be from news@moneyfacts-news.co.uk. Be ScamSmart.