EPC Rules: A Quick Guide

By Ian on Sunday 20th August 2023

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We’re EPC assessors and we’ve created this quick guide to help you understand the EPC rules and what they mean. We’ll cover which buildings need an EPC and the exceptions to those rules. Using information directly from government guidance, you’ll also learn how to get an EPC, the benefits of having one and the potential penalties if you don’t.

Who Needs an EPC?

An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a document that lets buyers or tenants see how well the building retains heat and uses energy. If you are selling or renting a property in the UK, you need an EPC . New builds also need one. Large housing groups like councils and housing associations need EPCs too. There are some exceptions, but the vast majority of buildings in the UK will at some point require one. The government guidelines say that

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are needed whenever a property is:
– built
– sold
– rented

https://www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performance-certificates

When do you Need an EPC?

You need an EPC before the property is marketed for sale or rent. For new, builds an EPC is required once the building work is complete. An EPC needs to be updated periodically (only if you’re planning to sell or rent), as the certificate will last for 10 years. If you make significant changes to the property, its not a legal requirement, but it is a good idea to update your EPC.

You must order an EPC for potential buyers and tenants before you market your property to sell or rent.

https://www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performance-certificates

Remember, its not just about following the EPC rules. An EPC shows potential buyers or tenants how energy efficient a property is. Properties with better EPC scores usually command a higher price.

Exceptions to the Rule

Not every building needs an EPC, there are some exceptions. The below is a list of the main reasons that a building will not need an EPC.

  • Places of worship
  • Buildings due to be demolished
  • Temporary buildings with a planned use of less than 2 years
  • Some listed buildings. Most do require one

The full list of exemptions can be found within the government guidance.

EPC Rules: Non Compliance Penalties

Its pretty difficult to get past the rules. Most estate agents will not market a property without an EPC. The property will be removed from sites like Rightmove too. During conveyancing, the existence of EPC certificate will be checked again. If you do manage to get past these check points, the guidance is clear. By not making an EPC certificate available to the prospective buyer or tenant you’ll face a fine of up to £5,000.

Benefits of Having an EPC

To maintain compliance, you need an EPC, but the benefits of having one go beyond a box ticking exercise. They give you a clear picture of how energy efficient your building is and give you practical, tailored advice on how to improve it.

A good EPC score will attract more attention from potential buyers or tenants and will increase its market value. In 2025 the government is planning to increase the minimum energy efficiency standard for rental properties to a band C on the EPC, this means landlords will be trying to either upgrade or sell their non compliant properties, therefore reducing their value. On the other side of the coin, there will be stiff competition for band C properties and higher which will increase their value.

How to get an EPC

Getting an EPC is straightforward. There are thousands of qualified and accredited assessors nationwide and there is a database making it really easy to find your local assessor.

If you are in the North West, we can complete the EPC for you, just get in touch. You can visit our EPC in Warrington page directly.

Further afield? You can find the government database of assessors here.

So, there you have it. EPCs might seem like just another piece of paperwork, but they’re pretty important. Whether you’re selling, renting, or building, you’ve got to have one. But it’s not just about ticking a box. An EPC can give you a heads-up on how to make your place more energy-efficient, which could save you some cash in the long run. Plus, with the way things are going, having a good EPC score could make your property a hot ticket in the future. Need an EPC? It’s easy to get one, especially if you’re in the North West. Just give us a shout. If you’re elsewhere, the government’s got a handy list of folks who can help. Simple as that.

About the Author

About Ian Kay

Ian is a seasoned energy assessor helping his customers, reduce energy usage and save money on their bills. He holds qualifications from both City & Guilds and ABBE for Domestic EPCs and Commercial EPCs (Level 3 NDEA and Level 4 NDEA). With a background in the building trade he can provide his customers with a unique perspective and advice. Ian combines his deep industry knowledge with practical advice to create blog posts that help visitors understand the complexities of energy performance certificates and reducing operating costs. When not immersed in the world of energy assessments, Ian enjoys exploring the great outdoors and spending quality time with his family.

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