Need to Know: Quick Guide to Energy Performance Certificates
Whether you are selling your home or renting out a building for office space, you need to know about Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). Practically any occasion where you put a building on the market or put it up for rent will require you to get assessed for an EPC. Here’s what you need to know in order to meet requirements and get your home move or office sale off to the right start.
History of the EPC
Energy Performance Certificates were first introduced by the government in 2007. At this time they were part of the requirement for home sellers to have a Home Information Pack (HIP) if the property had four bedrooms or more. Over the course of a few years, the requirement was extended to apply to buildings with fewer bedrooms. Although the need for an HIP was removed in 2010, homeowners were still required to have an EPC.
An EPC is needed whenever you sell a property, rent a property, or when a building is constructed. Before you put your home or your office space on the market you must have an EPC carried out, otherwise you risk being fined. The EPC contains information about the building’s energy use as well as energy costs. There is a rating from A to G, with A being the most efficient building and G the least. The report will also include recommendations about where you can improve the rating and how you can reduce energy use.
If the premises are for commercial use and separated into different parts then each part may need its own separate EPC. In order to get the EPC you need to use an accredited assessor, such as a company like epcuk.org that will carry out the assessment and issue you with the certificate.
EPC Not Required
EPCs are generally required for all building sales, whether they are commercial or domestic, but some premises are exempt. These include places of worship, industrial units and workshops that use little energy, temporary buildings, buildings that are slated to be demolished, holiday accommodation (provided it is let out for fewer than four months in a year), and listed buildings.
The assessment is carried out by a trained professional that looks carefully at the property. He or she considers such things as loft insulation, hot water tank and radiators, boiler, double glazing and other items. The assessment is input into a computer program that automatically gives the building a rating based on the assessment of its components.
If you do not make a valid EPC available to a prospective buyer or tenant then you will receive a penalty. This penalty is normally 12.5 percent of the rateable value of the property, with a minimum payment required of £500 and a maximum of £5000. When this calculation cannot be made there is a fixed penalty of £750. Once you have paid the penalty you will still need to have an EPC assessment.
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