Energy Performance Certificates give everybody involved in the buying, selling, letting or renting of property a head start when it comes to making homes energy efficient.

EPCs were introduced in England and Wales as part of the Home Information Packs for domestic properties with four or more bedrooms on 1 August 2007 – a time when the average price of a home in Newington Green was £7410 over the £350,000 mark.

It became a legal requirement for vendors and landlords to provide an EPC free of charge to prospective buyers or tenants on 1 October 2008. A copy of the EPC must also be handed over to the eventual buyers or tenants.   The good news for landlords – and vendors selling property less than a decade after purchasing it – is an EPC is valid for 10 years.

What is an EPC?

An EPC is a five-page document that…  

  • Uses a scale of A to G to rate a property’s current energy efficiency and carbon footprint
  • Provides recommendations about how to achieve a higher rating
  • Estimates a property’s energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel costs if the recommendations are put in place
  • Puts forward additional ideas to help bill payers save money and reduce the impact of the property on the environment

EPCs are not just a powerful marketing tool for homes that are already energy-efficient. Obtaining an EPC is the first step property owners should take if they want to be eco-friendly and save hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills.

They also give landlords an extra incentive to improve the carbon footprint of their rental properties.

Tenants now have the right to request landlord consent to carry out energy-efficiency improvements. Under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, this consent cannot be unreasonably withheld unless the landlord proposes implementing alternative energy efficient measures.

From April 2018 it will be unlawful to grant new residential or commercial leases unless the property has a minimum EPC rating of E. This ruling will apply to all new and existing residential lettings from April 2020 and extended to commercial lettings in April 2023.

What’s checked during an EPC site visit?

It takes around 30 minutes to carry out an internal and external inspection of a domestic property. During that time a qualified assessor will inspect or measure the property’s…  

  • Exterior walls
  • Roof insulation
  • Floor
  • Windows
  • Open fireplaces
  • Boiler
  • Lighting
  • Heating system
  • Heating controls
  • Hot water cylinder insulation
  • Ventilation system
  • Conservatory and extensions

Ways to improve your home’s EPC rating

The vast majority of properties in north London do not require any improvement to achieve an EPC rating of E.

The ratings are based on the number of Standard Assessment Procedure points a property scores during the EPC inspection.

For a property to achieve an A rating, it needs 92-100 SAP points. Homes with a B rating have 81-91 SAP points, C-rated homes have 69-80 SAP points, while E-rated homes need to score only 39-54 SAP points.

Extra SAP points are earned by making energy-efficient improvements. Fitting a modern condensing boiler, for example, will earn a property 47 SAP points and elevate it into the E-rating band immediately.

However, other forms of energy-efficient improvements do not carry as much weight when it comes to a property’s EPC rating. Installing double glazing is worth only 4 SAP points, upgrading roof insulation earns 10 SAP points, while cavity wall insulation adds 13 to a home’s SAP points total.

Homeowners can recoup many of the costs of improving their property’s EPC rating through its rise in value and lower fuel bills.

If you are thinking of selling your home in or around Newington Green contact M&M Property today to receive an up to date valuation of your house or flat.