An Energy Performance Certificate (or EPC) rating is essentially a review of a property’s ability to use energy efficiently.
All homes must have an EPC certificate when being sold or made available for rent.
The certificate is valid for 10 years.
What’s a good EPC rating?
An EPC certificate rates a property’s energy performance through a grading system of A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least.
A property with an EPC rating of C or above is generally thought to be pretty good. The average home in the UK has a rating of D.
New-build homes generally have higher scores, as they tend to be around 60% more energy efficient than older homes.
Buildings with higher EPC ratings are more popular with buyers and renters, especially in today’s climate of astronomically growing energy costs, as they’re cheaper to run.
You can find out the EPC rating of every property listed for sale or for rent on Zoopla on our listings pages.
Or, if you’re interested in a property that’s not currently on the market, you can find out their EPC rating through the government’s website.
How is an EPC rating decided?
An EPC rating is carried out by a government-approved energy assessor.
They look into the amount of energy a home uses per square metre and how much carbon dioxide it produces.
The average household produces 6 tonnes of CO2 annually.
The assessor conducts a measured survey of the property, examining the lighting, heating and hot water systems.
The certificate they produce then shows the current costs for running the home - and the potential costs if the assessor’s recommended energy-saving improvements are made.
It will also show the property’s overall rating from grades A to G.
What factors affect an EPC rating?
The assessor will look at whether the home has:
energy efficient bulbs
double glazed windows
an energy efficient boiler
thermostats for the home and individual radiators
log, coal or gas fires
loft and wall insulation
pipes and water tank insulation
renewable energy sources such as solar panels
air/ground source heat pumps
water-saving systems - such as dual-flush loos
How can I find out my home's EPC rating?
You can find an energy certificate for a property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland at gov.uk/find-energy-certificate.
The site carries information on EPC certificates for homes, business properties and public buildings.
What does it mean if my EPC rating is D or E?
EPC ratings are marked as scores out of 100. The average energy efficiency rating for homes in England and Wales is band D (rating 60).
Here's how the band scores work out:
|Score out of 100
When you're given your rating, your EPC certificate will also recommend ways in which you could improve it to bring it to C or above.
The certificate will outline the improvements and how much money each of them will save you over 3 years..
How can I improve my EPC rating?
1. Use energy efficient light bulbs
They can cut lighting costs by up to 90%, so are well worth the investment.
2. Insulate your loft
It will help to prevent up to 25% of your heating escaping through the roof.
3. Consider cavity wall insulation
It can help to stop 35% of your heating from leaving your home and only takes a couple of hours to install.
Holes are drilled into the external walls of your property and insulation is injected into the cavity.
4. Replace your old boiler with an energy efficient new one
It could make a drastic difference to your fuel bills - and your EPC rating.
5. Invest in double or triple glazed windows
6. Seal any draughty parts of the house
Including floorboards, around windows and the front door.
7. Consider using an environmentally-friendly air/ground source heat pump
How do I get a new EPC rating if I've made improvements to my home?
If you've done improvement works to your home and want to have its EPC rating reassessed, you can book an assessor through the government's website gov.uk/get-new-energy-certificate if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
There is a different process if you want to find an accredited assessor in Scotland.
Is there financial help available to improve my EPC rating?
Yes, there is.
Energy companies will pay for insulation, glazing and even new boilers for people claiming certain benefits under the Energy Company Obligation scheme.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers property owners £5,000 towards the cost of buying and installing an air source heat pump or biomass boiler.
Grants averaging £10,000 are also available to certain households to make energy efficiency improvements under the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme.
Find out more here: Free money to make your home more energy efficient
Can I change my EPC rating?
If you think your EPC rating is wrong, you can contact the assessor who gave the home its rating.
Their name will be on the EPC certificate that was issued for the property.
You can ask them to reassess the property based on where you think the errors might have been made.
If you’re still concerned that an error has been made, you can appeal to the assessor’s accreditation scheme. The details for this can also be found on the EPC.