Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are designed to show potential buyers or tenants of homes how energy efficient the building is likely to be. The EPC contains information on potential energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions in addition to a coloured chart to represent how energy efficient the building is, or could be, similar to those we are used to seeing on household electrical appliances.
Buildings are rated from A, meaning very efficient and coloured green on the chart to G, meaning inefficient and coloured red on the chart; properties with a higher rating are likely to have lower fuel bills.
By law, if you are selling or renting out a dwelling or commercial home premises you must have an EPC when you put the property on the market. Not having an EPC could lead to enforcement action from district councils, who are the enforcing authority in Northern Ireland, and the issue of a penalty charge notice.
Each EPC is valid for 10 years and can be used multiple times during that period. An EPC can only be produced by an accredited energy assessor who will visit the property to carry out an assessment.
Compare energy efficiency
As EPCs are produced using standard information about buildings, it enables prospective buyers and tenants to easily see and compare the energy efficiency of all properties they are considering and how much it may cost to heat and light a building before they enter into a contract.
Improve energy efficiency
The EPC also indicates how energy efficient the property could be if some improvements are carried out such as replacing lighting with low energy bulbs or upgrading insulation. Each EPC is accompanied by a report that will set out the cost effective measures that homeowners or businesses can take to improve the energy efficiency and energy rating of their property.
If you are selling your building or renting it out to a new tenant it is your responsibility as the owner or landlord to ensure you have an EPC, to make it available to potential buyers or tenants and finally, you must give a copy to the new owner when you sell the building.
If you are buying or thinking of renting a property from a landlord, the EPC should be made available to you at no cost. Should you choose to buy the property, you will be given a copy by the seller that you can reuse if you sell or rent out the building within the EPC’s period of validity.