EPCs & Floorplans FAQs

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EPCs & Floorplans FAQs | Energy Performance Certificate FAQs Back to top

1) What is an EPC?

An EPC refers to an Energey Performance Certificcate, a document that is legally required every time you buy or sell prperty in the UK. 

The purpose of the EPC is to clearly summarise the energy efficiency of a building, providing you with the estimated heating, lighting and hot water costs and carbon emissions released in one year. The document also gives you recommendations about how you can reduce energy use and costs.

With an EPC you can compare the energy efficiency ratings of homes across the UK and the document is generated following an EPC assessment.

If you have a Report Reference Number (RRN) you can Retrieve an Energy Performance Certificate online, alternatively, find out more about Energy Performance Certificates or request your EPC online.

2) What is an energy assessment?

An accredited Energy Assessor visits the property to collect only the data required for assessing the energy features of a property, and generates an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

The assessment is based on the construction and type of dwelling as well as relevant fittings (heating systems, insulation or double glazing, for example). It is not a structural or building survey, condition report or property valuation.

An EPC should not be read as a comment on the overall condition of the property but it can be used as a guide that will tell you how energy efficient a particular property is.

Higher efficiency could mean the home isn't as costly to heat for example compared to a similar propery with a lower efficiency rating.

3) What is meant by a 'domestic' EPC?

A domestic EPC (Energey Performance Certificcate) is one that’s issued for a property on the basis that it’s a "dwelling". Most individual properties (detached, semi-detached and terraced houses, flats and maisonettes) which are used primarily as homes for single households will be classified as "dwellings".

You'll need an accredited person to provide you with a domestic EPC, we can do that for you, and you can request your EPC here.

4) How long are EPC’s valid for?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is valid for a period of 10 years and during this time it can be used multiple times.

If any significant changes are made to your home or heating system you may need a new EPC, even though you may still be within the 10 year period.

5) Can I get an EPC online?

Obtaining an online EPC is quick and easy at Move Home Faster. You can get the process started in minutes, and we'll help you to find an accredited assessor, whether you're selling or renting out your home. They’ll assess your property at a time and date that's convenient for you and they will produce the certificate for you.

Get your online EPC started here.

7) What is included/detailed in an EPC?

All the following information will be included in an Energy Performance Certificate.

  1. Date of Certificate - this needs to be within the last 10 years for the EPC to be valid.
  2. Estimated Energy Costs – these figures show how much the average household would spend in the property for heating, lighting and hot water. This excludes running appliances such as TV’s, computers and cookers.
  3. Energy Efficiency Rating – The energy efficiency rating is a measure of the overall efficiency of a home. The higher the rating the more efficient the home is and the lower the fuel bills.
  4. Environmental Impact (CO2) Rating - This measures the home's impact on the environment in terms of CO2 emissions, the higher the rating, the less impact it has on the environment.
  5. Recommendations – the report will provide measures to improve the energy performance of your property.
8) What factors affect the efficiency rating of a property?

Some of the factors that will affect the efficiency rating of a property include the size and age of the property, as well as whether it has key items in place.

These can include things like efficient loft insulation, the type of boiler it has, whether it has single, double or even triple glazed windows, central heating with radiators in every room and so on.

9) My property has received an A/B/C/D/E/F/G rating on the EPC; what does this mean?

The EPC tells you how energy efficient your house is and gives it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient).

This rating provides a guide as to how much you can expect fuel costs to be in the property, telling you how much it costs to heat and light the house in one year and what the related carbon dioxide emissions are too.

Currently (as at May 2019), the minimum standard for a residential building is E, so if the EPC rating is below this, steps will need to be made to improve the rating. For landlords, since April 2018, a rating below E means that a property can not be rented out, though there are some exceptions.

To find out more, take a look at EPC minimum energy levels explained.

10) I have a converted garage; do I need a separate EPC?

If your main house and converted garage have a shared entrance and they share cooking and bathroom facilities, your garage can be included in the EPC of your main house.

If your converted garage is self-contained and has its own entrance, cooking and bathroom facilities, it needs a separate EPC.

11) I am a Landlord for private rental properties and understand new Regulations will be Implemented in 2018. Is this correct? If so, how will this affect me?

On 1 April 2016 a new minimum standard for properties rented out in the private sector was introduced. From 1 April 2018 there will be a requirement for new lets and renewals of properties rented out in the private sector to have a minimum energy efficiency rating of E on an EPC.

From 1 April 2020 the minimum standard of an energy efficiency rating of E on an EPC will apply to all existing tenancies. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.

To learn more, please take a look at The Private Rented Property minimum standard – landlord guidance documents.

12) The costs shown on the EPC are higher than my actual energy bills for the year. Why?

The energy costs stated on your EPC my vary when compared to your actual utility bills and that's because EPCs use standardised assumptions so as to make properties directly comparable while still reflecting the features of individual properties.

The EPC costs are based on a number of assumptions; a standardised heating pattern, standard number of occupants, average hot water usage, energy provider charges and so on.

These factors can vary significantly between different households even those living in similar properties.

13) Why are the energy costs shown on the front page of my EPC lower than my energy bills?

Standard occupancy is used to ensure the EPCs can be compared by prospective buyers or tenants with other homes.

The EPC costs account for energy used for heating, lighting and hot water, but do not include for other energy uses in a property, for example cooking or electrical appliances.

An EPC is calculated based on standard occupancy rather than how an individual uses the property and appliance use can vary significantly between different households and users.

15) I have added insulation to my house, but the rating is low and the insulation is not shown on the EPC, why is this?

The energy assessment is non-invasive. For insulation to be included in the assessment there must be evidence, either visual or documentary, of specific works relating to the property being assessed.

If insulation has been added but there is no access for the energy assessor to observe it or relevant documentary evidence, it cannot be included. In these cases the level of insulation is assumed based on the age of the relevant part of the dwelling. This applies to roof insulation, floor insulation and wall insulation.

Please therefore make the assessor aware of existing energy saving measures to ensure these are included in their assessment of your property.

17) I have what I believe to be a highly efficient LPG/oil heating system in my property. However in the summary section of my EPC my ‘Main Heating’ has an 'energy efficiency' of only 2 or 3 stars. Why?

The 'Energy Efficiency' column in the summary section of the EPC relates to the cost of running the heating system. This takes into account a three year rolling average price of the fuel used and the efficiency of the heating appliances.

The Energy Efficiency column informs the consumer about the heating system purely from a cost perspective. The descriptions in the column therefore change depending on the fuel used and the efficiency of the heating system.

For example, a gas condensing boiler will have 4 or 5 stars, whereas an oil boiler of the same efficiency will have 3 and an LPG boiler of the same efficiency will have 2.

18) I have a very modern electric heating system in my home. However, in the summary section of my EPC ‘Main Heating’ has an energy efficiency rating of only 1 star. Why?

The Energy Efficiency column in the summary section of the EPC is related to the cost of running the heating system. This takes into account the price of the fuel used (per kWh) and the efficiency of the heating system. Electricity is significantly more expensive than mains gas, which is one of the cheapest forms of fuel.

For example, if a home has a mains gas boiler it will cost less to run than an electric boiler or electric storage heaters. The Energy Efficiency column informs the consumer about the heating system purely from a cost perspective. The ratings in the table will vary depending on the fuel used and the efficiency of the heating system.

Even though an electric heating system may be 100% efficient at the point of use, turning all the electricity used into useful heat, it will still be more expensive for a home owner to run than a 65% efficient mains gas boiler. A gas boiler will have heat losses associated in converting the burning fuel into useful heat for the property, but these losses are outweighed by the lower cost of mains gas.

19) My property is heated by conventional electric heaters. The EPC recommends the installation of storage heaters. The change makes the Environmental Impact Rating worse rather than better. Why?

Storage heaters are recommended as they are cheaper to run, making use of low-rate night-time electricity. However the total amount of electricity used by a storage heater system is greater than that used by conventional panel heaters.

Therefore the resultant Energy Efficiency Rating is improved as running costs are reduced but the Environmental Impact Rating is made slightly worse as the total amount of energy used increases.

20) My recent EPC makes the recommendation of changing my current boiler to a new condensing boiler, but I have only recently had my boiler changed. Why?

The EPC provides an indication of the potential energy performance of the property and in this case, has identified that the current boiler installed, is not the most efficient boiler available. The age of the boiler being largely irrelevant compared to its efficiency.

The recommendation to improve the boiler to a more energy efficient boiler is made purely on the energy efficiency rating of the boiler and is not a reflection of the age or condition of the currently installed boiler.

This recommendation identifies that there are more efficient boilers available and that a homeowner should consider this the next time the boiler needs to be replaced.

21) My EPC lists a number of recommendations that seem inappropriate as they suggest changing items that I have recently updated, renovated or replaced

The EPC identifies the current and potential energy performance of the property but does not take in to account the age or physical condition of any of the elements assessed.

Even if listed elements have recently been upgraded or improved, it could be that further improvement is still possible, for example through the use of better quality insulation materials.

22) Why Should I Get A Floorplan?

A floorplan is an architectural drawing that allows you to see a two-dimensional, bird’s-eye view of each floor level in a house and as such it can help buyers get a clearer idea of the layout of a property. In fact, research has shown that having a floorplan can mean that your property listing attracts more interest than listings that do not include a floorplan.

Here at Move Home Faster we make obtaining a floorplan easy. Find out more about getting a floorplan here.

Contact Move Home Faster today by calling 01270 263 263, or fill out an online enquiry form and we will be in touch at a time that is convenient for you.

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