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Your guide to understanding EPC certificates

Whether you're buying, selling, renting, or letting a property, it's important to understand the significance of EPC ratings. In this guide, you'll find everything you need to know about EPC ratings, including some tips on how to reduce yours.

What is an EPC rating?

EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate Rating and measures the overall energy efficiency of a property.

It's rated on a scale from A to G, with 'A' being the most efficient and 'G' being the least efficient. A higher rating indicates lower heating and power costs for the property. Conversely, a low EPC rating suggests poor efficiency, leading to higher running costs and a greater environmental impact.

EPCs also assess a property's carbon dioxide emissions, which has become a crucial factor for buyers in today's climate-conscious society.

The significance of a high EPC rating

With the ongoing climate change crisis and the UK government's focus on environmental issues, a poor EPC rating can greatly impact your property plans.

In the UK, it is currently illegal to sell or let a house with an EPC rating below the minimum 'E' rating. If a buyer is torn between two properties, one with a low EPC rating and the other with a high rating, they will usually go for the latter. After all, most buyers prioritise homes that are more cost-effective to run and have lower carbon emissions.

How do you find out your EPC rating?

You can find the EPC for your current or prospective home through the government's online portal.

The EPC rating is split up into sections. The first section provides an estimated energy cost breakdown for lighting, heating, and hot water.

The energy efficiency scale is a crucial component, measuring the overall efficiency of the property from A to G, similar to the ratings found on appliances. Additionally, there is a "potential rating" that indicates the potential efficiency if recommended improvements are implemented.

How long does an EPC certificate last?

EPCs are valid for 10 years. If you already have a valid EPC rating, the process of selling your property will be much smoother, as you won't need to re-evaluate its efficiency. However, if your EPC has expired or your property has not been assessed yet, you must obtain a new EPC rating before legally listing your property on the market.

How can I improve my property's EPC rating?

Installing double or triple glazed windows

These will provide better insulation and reduces heat loss by approximately 20%, thus reducing the need for additional heating.

Upgrade appliances to higher energy ratings

If your appliances have a rating of B, consider replacing them with ones rated A++.

Switch to LED lightbulbs

If your EPC rating is borderline, making this simple switch can produce a significant difference. LED bulbs are energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and just as effective.

Install roof or loft insulation

Proper insulation is crucial since heat rises. Adding this to your loft or roof can help you save up to 25% of the heat lost through your property.

Are you concerned about the EPC rating of your home? Get in touch today for tips on how you can make your property more energy efficient.

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