Do you really need an EPC?

Moving house is expensive, so the last thing you need is further costs for paperwork like Energy Performance Certificates. If you think EPCs are a waste of time and money, you’re not alone – so here’s James Hamilton to explain what they are, how to use them and whether they are worth the added expense.

What exactly is an EPC?

Just when you think you’re ready and raring to go with a house move you’ve been planning for years, your estate agent tells you that there is one final piece to the puzzle – an EPC.

This short document details the energy usage and associated costs for your property as it stands, plus recommendations for improving its performance. The property will be given an energy efficiency rating from A to G (A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient), which is just like the rating you find on modern appliances such as fridge freezers and washing machines.

When must the EPC be ready?

You will need an EPC in order to sell your home. It must be in progress, but not necessarily available before the property is marketed.

If you are looking to sell or rent your home, you can order an EPC through your estate agent. Hamilton Bower’s experienced branch team can offer advice about EPCs and make sure you have all the necessary documentation. It is just one of the ways in which we support customers through the whole house selling process, from offering information and advice to building individual marketing plans for your home.

It hasn’t been that long since we moved and I already have an EPC for this property

EPCs have a shelf life of ten years and you can reuse them as many times as you like within that time. Remember though, if you have made energy efficiency improvements to the property then the EPC may no longer offer a true reflection of the property’s green credentials.

More and more buyers are using EPCs to gauge how expensive a new home might be to run on a monthly basis and if you have fitted a new boiler, had double glazing or installed extra insulation, then the energy rating may have gone up – an appealing proposition for any buyer.

In these instances, it would be worth getting a new EPC to show off your home’s new energy efficiency rating.

The pitfalls

For buyers looking at a variety of property types, EPCs don’t always offer a direct comparison. A period property for example, wouldn’t offer the same energy rating as a modern property, even if they were of a similar size.

That said, they remain an important tool in the buying and selling of houses and are set to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

If you have any questions about EPCs or any other part of the house buying or letting process, contact your experienced Hamilton Bower team today.

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