What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document showing the assessed energy efficiency of a home. It uses an A - G ratings system which allows prospective owners and tenants to consider the affordability of a home in terms of the likely heating and lighting costs. An EPC survey must be carried out by an accredited domestic energy assessor who should visit your home. You can search for an accredited assessor using the EPC Register.
An EPC always comes with a recommendation report that lists cost effective and other measures to improve the current energy rating of the home. A rating is also given showing what could be achieved if all the recommendations were taken. From April 2018 there is a new law to ensure that privately rented homes meet basic energy efficiency requirements. Under new ‘Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards’ (MEES) legislation, landlords cannot grant a new lease or tenancy for a property with an Energy Performance rating below ‘E’. From 1 April 2020, it is also legal requirement for properties with existing leases and tenancies to have a minimum EPC rating of E.
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When is an Energy Performance Certificate needed?
An EPC is required for homeowners and landlords, who wish to sell, buy or rent out a property. Landlords and homeowners must provide prospective, and accepted, tenants or owners with a free copy the EPC. An EPC is not, however, required for any property that was occupied before 1 October 2008 and continues to be occupied by the same tenant.
An EPC can be for a whole building or part of a building (where the part is designed or altered to be used separately). Where there is a house in multiple occupation, (i.e. with shared facilities), an EPC will be required for the let as a whole rather than for individual rooms.
Once obtained, an EPC will last for ten years and can be reissued to new tenants or buyers.
What happens if a landlord does not provide their tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate?
Trading Standards are responsible for making sure that the EPCs are produced for all rented homes. If a landlord fails to provide an EPC, then Trading Standards can issue them with a notice and penalty charge of £200 per home. In addition to paying the penalty notice, the landlord will still have to provide an EPC to the tenant.