How long do EPCs last?

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will affect all UK homeowners at some point. In certain cases, it is a legal requirement and it is possible to incur penalties if you fall on the wrong side of the law. We are going to take a closer look at what exactly EPCs are, how long do EPCs last, how to get one, and all other essential info that you may need to know surrounding this subject.

What is an EPC?

An EPC shows the energy efficiency of a property on a scale between A and G. A is the most energy efficient while G shows that much more could be done to improve. 

The rating of a property will depend on various factors with one of the most important being insulation. Along with the windows, walls and ceilings are where most energy finds its way out of a property meaning that higher heating bills are incurred due to continuous heat loss. If a property falls into the lowest rating, then it’s likely that no insulation is present in cavity walls or lofts and single-glazed windows are probably installed throughout.

Properties that are more highly rated on the scale will have better insulation, double glazing and more efficient heating systems that reduce cold spots in the house. This is achieved by constant sources of heat throughout rather than one main focus that fails to reach all corners of the property. It can be a costly business bringing a building up to scratch in terms of heat efficiency. But the payoff comes over the following years when energy bills are reduced and a return on the initial investment becomes clear.

Any EPC is a legal requirement for anyone looking to sell their home as it shows potential buyers exactly how efficient the property may be. A high EPC rating will attract buyers and can make a difference to the asking price. But how long do EPCs last? The next section takes a closer look at this info.

How Long Does it Last?

An energy performance certificate is valid for 10 years. It can be used to prove the efficiency rating of a property multiple times during that decade. But if any improvements to the property have been made since the last test, it could be worth having the certificate renewed. An improved rating can pay dividends when it comes to selling your home. The energy performance of a building can begin to reduce over a period of time so potential buyers may not be so keen to accept an EPC that was performed 9 years ago, for example. If you are looking to get the very best price for a property, then it is sound advice to get an up-to-date EPC anytime you’re thinking of selling.

How long does an EPC assessment take?

Getting a full EPC assessment completed on a property will depend on the size of the building. Larger commercial structures will take a minimum of an hour to complete. The maximum could be anywhere up to a number of hours if there is an enormous space to assess. The average domestic building will only take around 40 minutes as there are fewer rooms to consider. There will also be far fewer windows and other key areas for the assessor to inspect.

During the inspection, the assessor will take into consideration the heating system within the property, the insulation that exists and the performance of the windows that are installed. It’s likely that they will take measurements and photographs of any key areas that are highlighted in the survey. This isn’t for public viewing; it is simply to keep as evidence to support the final rating.

Once the EPC is completed, the results will be made available on the national register. You will also receive a copy of the certificate for your files.

An EPC can only be completed by an accredited domestic energy assessor. To find a registered assessor in your area, go to your local government website and search their official EPC register. Alternatively, if you are in the process of selling your house and have selected an estate agent, then you can ask them.

Why might you update an EPC?

There are several reasons why you might want to consider updating an EPC. But the 2 main circumstances that prompt a renewal are change of owner and evolving legislation. 

The latter can often cause confusion as it isn’t always widely publicised when new changes come into effect. The latest changes occurred in 2015 and 2018 and left many private landlords inadequately covered for their business activity. Using an agent to handle rental affairs will ensure that changes in the law don’t go unnoticed. 

Anyone selling a property will be advised by their estate agent that an EPC must be obtained. So there shouldn’t be any surprises there. If the last EPC was performed over 10 years before, then a new update must be acquired. And as mentioned, it might also be worth going through the process even if a previous certificate falls within the 10-year guidelines. Installation of central heating, windows and insulation will have a positive effect on the rating and could help to attract potential buyers.

Do rental properties need an EPC?

The short answer is yes. All rental properties must come complete with an EPC. For landlords entering a new tenancy in the UK, the law came into effect in 2018. Anyone who doesn’t provide a valid certificate for their new tenants could see the rental contract become void. And worse, they could also receive a fine of up to £5000.

Landlords with existing tenants have until April 2023 to complete the process and supply their tenants with a valid copy. To arrange the EPC, landlords should contact their tenants to arrange a suitable time to carry out the necessary procedure. 

How long do EPCs last for landlords? The answer is 10 years; exactly the same as for house sellers.

EPC – Key Takeaways

As we’ve seen, the EPC is an important process that all property sellers and landlords should be aware of. The laws are strict and anyone found not to be compliant could face a nasty fine of up to £5000. But it isn’t only for legal reasons that these checks should be performed. There are many benefits to having an up-to-date EPC and it could end up generating more profit from the sale of the building as a result. Always stay one step ahead of changing property rules and regulations and get in touch with us if you have any questions.