Is your home D or an A? Your guide to home Energy Performance Certificates

Energy Performance Certificate or EPC ratings are really important when you’re buying and selling your home. But they can also help you be more energy-efficient and save money.

Here’s our guide to EPCs and how they can benefit you, with some handy tips to help you make your home more energy-efficient.

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate or EPC rates how energy-efficient your home is. It includes estimated energy costs and a summary of your home's energy-related features.

The EPC also includes recommendations on things that could make your home more energy-efficient. It'll give estimated costs for the suggested changes and the potential savings you could make.

Your EPC will have two main charts that look like this with the rating bands clearly displayed.

source: https://www.sava.co.uk

How is an EPC rating is calculated

Your property will be given an energy-efficiency grade between A and G, with A being the best - i.e most energy-efficient - and G being the worst.

Using the government's Standard Assesssment Procedure (SAP) your home will be given a numerical score from 1-100 SAP points. These scores are divided into bands as follows:

  • EPC rating A = 92-100 SAP points (most efficient)
  • EPC rating B = 81-91 SAP points
  • EPC rating C = 69-80 SAP points
  • EPC rating D = 55-68 SAP points
  • EPC rating E = 39-54 SAP points
  • EPC rating F = 21-38 SAP points
  • EPC rating G = 1-20 SAP points (least efficient)


New-build homes tend to have good EPC ratings from A-C, while older homes often have lower ratings of around D or E. The average EPC rating for a home in the UK is D.

How can you improve your EPC?

Absolutely, and it can save you money and make your home more energy-efficient. Your EPC will list ways to improve your rating, and give indicative costs.

These improvements will help you save on bills, and lessen the environmental impact of the property through being more energy-efficient.

The type of thing an EPC will suggest are:

  • Insulation (floor, roof, loft or walls). Better insulation reduces the need for heating, thereby lowering your energy bill.
  • Replace your boiler. You can cut your energy bills with a new, energy-efficient boiler. For more details on how, visit our boiler replacement page
  • Double glazing. windows keep in significantly more heat when they're double-glazed, again reducing the need for heating.
  • Solar panels. these produce cheaper, greener energy. See our advice on solar panels for more information.
  • Low-energy lighting. a smaller change that involves no structural alteration, using low-energy light bulbs is a cheap, easy way to lower energy bills.
     

The certificate will also include the potential cost of undertaking these improvements, and the typical saving over a three-year period; the estimated costs of heating, lighting and hot water after improvements are made; total potential savings, and the energy performance rating you might receive after making improvements to your home.

thermal loft insulation roll

Loft insulation

from £400 £136
with the Green Homes Grant

Save up to £250 on bills and prevent 25% of your heat loss through your roof(1)

Cavity wall insulation - Installing cavity wall insulation

Cavity wall insulation

from £600 £204
with the Green Homes Grant

Save as much as £280 a year on heating bills by stopping 33% of heat loss(2)

BOXT boiler engineer showing customer how to use

New boiler replacement

from £1920
with next day installation(3)

Free Amazon Echo Show 5 when your new boiler is installed worth £59.99

What is the EPC register?

The EPC domestic register is the government's online database of every EPC in the UK. You can search for a property's energy performance certificate by postcode. This is useful for looking up your own epc check, downloading your EPC certificate or for finding the certificate of a property you are considering moving into, as well as booking your own EPC assessment.

How much is an EPC?

If you need an EPC you can do this via your estate agent for convenience, but this is generally the pricier option. The cheaper option is to arrange it independently. It's definitely worth shopping around. Simply search the EPC register's assessor page to find an accredited energy assessor.

How long does the EPC assessment take?

It's super-quick- around 45 minutes and an hour.

How long does an EPC last?

EPCs are valid for 10 years. They were first introduced in England and Wales in 2007 so, depending on when you moved in, your property may already have a valid certificate. Use the EPC register's look-up tool to check if you have one - and, if so, whether it's still valid.

How much do EPCs cost?

EPCs can cost around £120, although there is a range depending on who you book your assessment with, so do shop around for the best deal.

Going directly to a domestic energy assessor rather than getting one through an estate agent is generally cheaper.

Who’s responsible for getting an EPC check?

If you’re buying or renting, it’s a legal requirement for the seller or landlord to arrange for an EPC, but it's still important that you - as the buyer or tenant - see and understand the certificate. The rating can impact the price you pay for a new home so it’s really worth staying on top of. Are there situtations when an EPC is not required? Only in the case where an individual room when rented out, as it is not classed as a building or a building unit for separate use. The whole building will require an EPC if sold or rented out however.

For landlords and renters
The EPC legal requirements for landlords is that their Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have a minimum EPC rating for renting of E. From 2025, it is believed that the minimum requirement will be raised to D.

EPCs in Scotland

If you're selling in Scotland, you'll need to get a Home Report. Home Reports include an EPC (known as an energy report), a house survey and a property questionnaire.

My home’s a listed building, what do I do?

Since 2013, listed buildings have been exempt from EPCs, provided they reach certain minimum standards for energy performance. Ironically, the best way to check whether your building meets these standards is to get an EPC. If your listed building already had an EPC before the exemption came into place, you will have to make sure it has an E rating before you can rent it out. This may require some changes.

Many common EPC-recommended measures, such as installing insulation or double glazing, can harm the authenticity of a listed building, so it's understandable if you want to try and avoid these. Efficiency improvements which will cause minimal harm to the aesthetics or structural integrity of a listed building include switching to a renewable energy source, installing a more efficient boiler and draught-proofing.

modern home with solar panels installed

Have you thought about going renewable?

If you are looking for a long-term solution that will seriously improve the EPC of your property, it's worth considering renewable energy sources such as solar panels or heat pumps.

While these are more expensive options to pay out for initially, you can get government-backed funding schemes to help with the costs. In the long term, you'll save on your energy and improve your EPC rating.
 

Here are our five top tips on how to improve your EPC rating:

  1. Upgrade your lighting to LED light bulbs
  2. Insulate the walls and roof
  3. Invest in double or triple glazed windows
  4. Install a more efficient boiler
  5. Install a smart meter

Discover your home's efficiency potential. It could save you money and improve your home comfort.

For more tips and advice on energy efficiency visit https://www.edfenergy.com/energy-efficiency/tips-and-advice

Related articles