Everything you need to know about your home's EPC rating
By: Shell Energy
22 Jul 2022
You may have heard the term EPC rating, but what does it mean? And how can you improve your home’s EPC rating? Here’s everything you need to know about energy performance certificates (EPCs).
What is an EPC rating?
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) tell you how energy efficient a property is.
Chances are, you’ve seen multicoloured energy-rating stickers on household appliances, which show you how energy efficient each model is - from A (the most efficient) to G (the least). An EPC rating is the equivalent for a property.
Using that same A-G scale, an EPC rating tells you how efficiently a building can be heated and lit, and calculates the resulting carbon emissions. It also includes recommendations for better energy efficiency, alongside the higher rating you’d potentially get from making those improvements.
Does my home need an energy efficiency rating?
You need an EPC whenever a property is built, sold, or rented - so you'll need if you plan to rent or sell your home. And if you’re in Scotland, you must display your EPC somewhere in the property.
Some buildings are exempt from EPC requirements. These include places of worship, listed buildings, and residential sites used fewer than four months a year.
How is energy efficiency calculated?
A qualified assessor will check your windows, insulation, and heating to see how the property uses energy. They use sophisticated software to score each feature against the government’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for energy efficiency. One SAP point is the least efficient score, 100 the highest.
Those results will be used to form an overall EPC rating, which is presented in a certificate that’s valid for 10 years. You'll also receive recommendations for improvement.
How do I arrange an EPC?
If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you'll need to call a domestic energy assessor to get an EPC. You can find the list of the accredited professionals on the Government website.
There's a different process in Scotland. Visit the Scottish EPC Register for a list of approved providers.
What do the different energy efficiency rating bands mean?
Here’s how SAP points correspond to an EPC rating:
How can I improve my energy efficiency rating?
If you want to improve your home's energy, or boost its appeal for sale or rent, the good news is you can improve its EPC score. You'll just need to follow the recommendations in your property report.
These may include installing:
- Double glazing
- Loft insulation
- Cavity insulation
- Low energy lighting
- An energy-efficient boiler
The type of building you live in, and its age, will also affect your EPC rating. In the UK, the average rating for a detached house is D - rising to C for a flat or maisonette. For properties built after 2012, with the most modern energy efficiency features, the average rating is B - compared to E for a property built before 1900.
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