What is an EPC?

If you are buying or renting a property what you see of the EPC is the nice multi-coloured graph – similar to what you see when you buy a new fridge or freezer. But that nice little infographic is only part of a document which is actually 4-5 pages with lots more information on the property.

Primarily it will show the EPC rating A-G (A being the most efficient) and what its potential rating could be after improvements.

At the end of the report it also details the carbon emissions for the property and its potential.

Importantly the EPC gives you an estimate on running costs for your lighting, heating and hot water, these are based on a ‘typical household’ and ‘typical heating pattern’. From most conversations I have had, the average household seems to be ‘less than typical’ but that is because most people are careful with their energy consumption – so perhaps a better way to describe these figures is ‘worse case scenario’. Where this information is very useful is when you want to do a comparison between 2 properties and their running costs.

The report also features a list of ‘recommendations to save you money and make your home more efficient’. Some of these are default recommendations based on the construction. You will find a recommendation for internal or external wall insulation on any property which is solid stone or solid brick construction – even if it is a beautifully faced granite cottage. However these recommendations will also give you an indication of more straight forward improvements such as loft insulation or upgrading an inefficient boiler – certainly the latter could potentially give any buyer a little bargaining power. As an assessor we regularly hear how a boiler is serviced annually, never has any problems even though it is 20 plus years old, we have to record the make and model and an efficiency is allocated to that model, if it is under 80% efficiency then that recommendation will appear.

One part of the report which everyone needs to take a note of is the ‘Summary of this homes energy performance related features’. This lists details of the construction, glazing, heating system etc and gives a good overview of the property. This information again is really useful if you are comparing properties. With a bit of experience you can almost gain as useful an image of the property as you can from looking up the property on Googlemaps

How difficult is it to see the whole of the report ? It is actually really easy! Google ‘EPC Register’, EPCs are public documents so can be accessed from the register using the property address, and if you want to discuss what you find then please give us a call, we are always happy to give you any free advice or information if we can.

Get a better EPC, also see: How to improve your EPC rating?

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