EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate – this is a certificate that every property you rent will need (unless the property is actually listed or graded, in which case it won’t apply).
You will also need an EPC on a house to sell it too, but let’s focus on the renting aspect today.
An EPC lasts for 10 years, and every time a letting agent advertises a property to rent, they must include the EPC rating and reference. On our website, we also pull through the funky charts which show visually in an easier way where the ratings fall. The purpose of an EPC is basically to show you how much the house costs in energy over the course of a year. It’s a great informer for those worried about bills and how energy efficient a house is.
So what do you need to focus on? Take a look at that first chart graphic – this shows, from G to A, which rating the house or property has been given in terms of energy efficiency. A is the most efficient (newer houses) and G least efficient. Now, from April 2018 any houses with a rating of F or G must improve in order to carry on renting.
After the graphic you’ll usually find a table of estimated costs – and do remember that they are estimated! Unlike the rating, these estimations actually take into consideration the size of the house (your floor plan essentially). You could compare two EPC’s with the same rating, but different estimated costs due to their size. These estimated costs assume you heat your house for 9 hours a day during the week, and 16 on a weekend – so that’s quite an important factor to bear in mind when you’re on the house hunt.
You should always consider the date of the EPC, for a number of reasons. Mainly, you might find an EPC which was presented in 2009, we would assume that the costings for energy here are less, due to the rise in utility bills. On the other hand, your landlord might have carried out some improvements works over those last 9 years that the EPC doesn’t take into consideration. It’s always worth asking your letting agent this, just to give you a good balance.
Much of the other information on an EPC will be more relevant to the property owner – where improvements can be made, how well the house is doing in certain aspects and so forth.