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EPCs added expense or essential information?

Thu 01 Oct 2015


EPCs – added expense or essential information?


Are you baffled by Energy Performance Certificates? You’re not alone. Paul Ivens, director at regional estate agent Green & Co, tells everything you need to know if you’re looking to sell - and how EPCs can help attract a buyer.




What is an EPC?


You’ve taken the decision to sell your home, maybe even started to look at properties yourself. You know your budget, you’ve spruced up the house and focused on the key selling points ready for viewings. But before your chosen estate agent can market your property, you need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). So what does it mean?


An EPC contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs, together with recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money. The property will be given an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), similar to those which are found on modern appliances such as washing machines and fridges.


They are required whenever a property is sold or rented and must be ordered (but not necessarily available) before the property is marketed. At first glance EPCs can seem a complicated but remember these certificates have been designed to give buyers a quick assessment of a property’s energy efficiency.


If you are looking to sell or rent your home, you can order an EPC through your estate agent. Green & Co’s experienced branch teams can offer advice about EPCs and make sure you have all the necessary documentation. It is just one of the ways in which we support customers through the whole house selling process, from offering information and advice to building individual marketing plans for your home. It costs £99 plus VAT to purchase an EPC through Green & Co, using accredited assessors.


Can I reuse an existing EPC?


EPCs last for ten years and can be reused as many time as you like within that period. However, don’t forget that if energy efficiency improvements have been made to the property, the existing certificate could show a lower rating – and potentially make the property less attractive to buyers.


A new boiler, A-grade double glazing or extra insulation, for example, will all help to push the energy efficiency rating up and we would always recommend a new certificate in these cases.


Do they work?


Unfortunately, EPCs can sometimes be seen as an unnecessary expense by sellers at a time when the purse strings are inevitably tight.


Despite the good intentions, recommended energy measures are not always realistic when you take into account the cost of installation against potential savings. The intended comparisons between properties can also fall down when choosing between different house types - particularly when modern homes are compared to period properties, for which energy efficiency is not likely to be a key selling point.


Having said that, EPCs still play – and will continue to play - an important role in property transactions. For buyers they provide a useful resource and can help to calculate living costs to see if a home is affordable, designed to give a quick and easy-to-read summary of the home’s energy performance and potential. They are also a great way for sellers to highlight improvements that might have been made to the property.




Green & Co
0121 296 1400


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