A Tenant’s Guide to EPCs.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An EPC is a certificate which provides an energy rating of a building on a scale from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is the least efficient. The certificate looks very similar to the energy labels found on kitchen appliances. This is not a pass or fail.

When do properties need an EPC?

From 01 October 2008 all properties to be sold or rented require an EPC.

What is the purpose of an EPC?

The purpose of an EPC is to provide tenants with an idea of how efficient a building is and include this as part of their decision process.

Which properties require an EPC?

An EPC is required on construction, sale or letting of all dwellings.

What things affect the EPC?

The EPC reflects the characteristics of the building and its services, therefore things such as style of building, age, heating, lighting, windows, and insulation all have an effect.

What can be done to improve the EPC rating?

Included in the EPC are recommendations and also how cost effective these will be. There are a lot of grants available to both landlords and students.

Who is responsible for providing the EPC?

It is the landlord who is ultimately responsible for ensuring there is an EPC for the building, or part of the building, being let, even if an agent or another organisation is acting on their behalf or providing an EPC. The landlord should, therefore, ensure any agents acting on their behalf are complying with the current regulations.

When should an EPC be provided?

The Department of Communities and Local Government has provided the following guidelines regarding when an EPC and recommendation report must be made available at no cost to prospective purchasers/tenant, when:-
• A viewing is taking place
• Written information about the building is provided to a prospective purchaser or tenant
• A prospective purchaser or tenant requests the EPC

How long is an EPC valid for?

All EPCs whether used for construction, sale or rental purposes will last for 10 years unless major modifications are made to the building.

Should you ask to see the EPC?

Yes because put very simply the better the rating then the lower your fuel bills will be.

Do existing tenancies require an EPC?

As long as the tenancy was signed before 01 October 2008 there is no requirement to have an EPC as it is only required when a property is marketed for sale or rent.

Is there any way to keep fuel costs down?

• DIY stores, energy suppliers, newspapers and student union often have promotions for free energy saving bulbs – get them and fit them.
• Go online to find the cheapest supplier for electric and gas.
• Use the programmer on the boiler to have the heating coming on at the correct time.
• If you’re cold try putting a jumper on first.

 Back to Advice Menu.