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Energy performance certificates (EPCs) – 10 things you always wanted to know about EPCs

  1. The Requirement -EPCs have been a requirement on the construction, sale or letting of a building since the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007.
  1. What it does – An EPC will record the energy efficiency of a property on a ratings scale where ‘A’ represents a very energy efficient property and ‘G’ a very energyinefficient property an idea similar to that of the energy labels which are provided on white goods such as fridges and washing machines.
  1. Who does them? EPCs are provided by trained energy assessors and after completing a rating assessment, the assessor will also complete a recommendations report which will provide a list of measures which can help improve the efficiency rating of a building.
  1. Where can you find them? Most EPCs can be found on the EPC Register (unless the owner has opted out) where you can search for a property and download details of its rating and report free of charge allowing owners, prospective buyers, tenants and occupiers to review and compare information on buildings to gauge what they can expect from a future heating bill.
  1. How long do they last? An EPC is valid for 10 years, and must be shown to all prospective buyers and tenants whenever a property is built, sold or rented. The regulations extend to properties which are sublet.
  1. Who has to provide an EPC? If there is no valid EPC for the property in question, a seller or landlord must commission an EPC before the property is ‘put on the market’ ,not always a defined moment but generally the point at which the property is available for sale or rent. Reasonable efforts must be made by the seller/landlord or its agent to get the EPC issued within 7 days of the property first being put on the market.
  1. Other Situations? A new EPC might be required if alterations are made to a building which may impact on its energy efficiency. As a result Landlords increasingly include provisions in Licences to Alter that require Tenants to obtain replacement EPC ratings on completion of alterations and require that alterations do not reduce the energy efficiency of a building.
  1. Public Display. The regulations also provide that a valid EPC must displayed in buildings which have a total useful floor area over 500m2 and which is frequently visited by the public.
  1. Exclusions There are however a number of situations where a building is not required to have a valid EPC, including but not limited to:
  • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that do not use a lot of energy;
  • holiday accommodation that is rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy; and
  • any listed buildings, religious properties.
  1. Lease Transactions. Not all lease transactions are caught by the EPC requirements. None are expressly excluded by the regulations but transactions including lease renewals, lease extensions and surrenders are not considered to be a sale or a rental transaction. Recent regulations will require properties with an F or G rating to carry out remedial work before further grant/continuation of lettings can take place.

For more information on EPC’s please go to https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/energy-performance-certificates.

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Hugh Murrell


Hugh Murrell


In his own words, Hugh is “the one with the grey hair and thirty-five years of corporate and business law experience”.

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