Who needs an EPC?
For Domestic properties, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), should be obtained by the seller of a property or a landlord. When it comes to commercial properties, you will be responsible to get an EPC if you are renting out or selling the property.
You also need an EPC if the construction of a new house has been completed, or if part an existing dwelling has changed, for instance, its heating system. It is the seller’s responsibility to get the energy certificate and show it to the prospective client or tenant. Since 2008, EPCs have been required in Belfast by law. EPCs have a validity of 10 years. If you are caught without this certificate, you may have to pay fees of up to £200.
Who can prepare the EPC for you?
In Belfast, Northern Ireland, a domestic home energy assessor who is accredited is the one who can carry out an EPC. Sellers and landlords can also seek the help of real estate or letting agents with regards to EPC. But, if you want to find your own assessor, you are free to do so.
What information is shown on an EPC?
The information displayed on an EPC includes the energy-efficient rating, the estimated costs of running your property and the summary of energy performance-related features. You will notice that the EPC rating is presented in a multi-colored chart. The report is also split in at least two parts. This easier for your understanding as you can easily read the essential parts of the certificate pertaining to your property, which are:
The energy efficiency rating
This will tell how efficient your property is in terms of energy. The rating is from A to G, which is from highest to lowest. The A grade means that the property you are selling or renting out is energy efficient and well insulated. Meanwhile, the G grade is the opposite of A grade, which indicates most likely that your building is old with solid walls.
For houses of multiple occupation, HMOs, a landlord needs to get a minimum of E energy rate to pass HMO approval.
Estimated costs of running your home
Another part of your EPC is the estimated annual energy costs. This part of the EPC certificate states how much energy is needed in your property. The three major indicators are lighting, heating and hot water. Your EPC will list down the estimate of costs for the proposed improvements.
There is also a part here where your potential future savings are reported. The savings are the average amount you are going to save on your lighting, heating, and hot water after the improvements. Some of the appliances powered by electricity such as TVs, cookers, and computers are not included in the EPC report.
It is worth noting here that if you are selling your house you are not obliged to carry out any improvements from those suggested in the report. The EPC report is provided for the information of the potential buyer.