Do I Need an EPC? Frequently Asked Questions for Sellers

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If you are selling a residential or commercial property, or putting that property up for rent, you may have heard of the Energy Performance Certificate or EPC. However, as with many aspects of the selling process, you will not have paid much attention to it until it moved up your to-do list. If you are ready to put your home or office on the market, make sure you are familiar with the EPC and what you need to do in order to satisfy the requirements for this piece of legislation. Here are the answers to some common EPC questions.


What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

An EPC is a government-directed procedure for ensuring that property owners comply with the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD). The certificate was introduced in 2007 as part of the Home Information Packs scheme but the certificates are still required even though HIPs are no longer valid. The purpose of the assessment for the certificate is to discern how energy efficient a building is. The certificate gives you a rating from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is not efficient. The idea behind the certificate is to measure buildings using standard criteria so that it is easy to see, at a glance, how buildings compare in terms of energy use. In this way, prospective tenants or owners of a building can see how much they will have to spend on heating and lighting, as well as how environmentally friendly the building is. As well as the rating, the certificate contains a report that lists recommendations about how to improve the building’s energy rating.

Do I Need to have an Energy Performance Certificate?

If you are selling a property then the answer is yes. If you are renting your property then the answer is also yes. Most property that is put on sale or for rent in England and Wales will need an EPC. There are exceptions – places of worship, temporary buildings that will be used for fewer than two years, small buildings with a total useful floor space of less than 50sqm, industrial sites and workshops, holiday accommodation that is rented for no more than four months in a year, listed buildings, and some buildings that are due to be demolished.

When Do I Need to Get the Certificate?

You need to get assessed for the EPC, for example through an agency like, before you put your property on the market. This is the same for a residential or a commercial property. If you don’t do this, you could be fined.

Can I See Another Building’s EPC?

You can compare different buildings free of charge. You can therefore check your office or home’s energy performance against another by searching using the address of the report number for the EPC. If you don’t want people to see your EPC you can opt out of the register.

Image: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /