How Long Does an EPC Last?

How Long Does an EPC Last?

Introduction

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that indicates the energy efficiency of a property but how long does an EPC last before it expires?. It contains details like the property’s energy use, CO2 emissions, fuel costs, and recommendations for energy efficiency upgrades.

EPCs are a legal requirement when selling or renting out properties in the UK. They must be made available to prospective buyers and tenants.

The validity period of an EPC depends on factors like when the property was built and its energy efficiency rating. For newer properties with high ratings, EPCs can be valid for up to 10 years. But for existing, less efficient properties, they are only valid for 7 years.

During property conveyancing, a valid EPC is absolutely essential. If an Energy Performance Certificate expires midway through the conveyancing process, it can cause costly delays that require a new one to be commissioned. Specialist conveyancing firms like AVRillo stay on top of EPC validity to prevent such issues.

This article provides a detailed overview of EPC validity periods, how conveyancing is affected, when you need to get a new EPC, the process of obtaining one, how to improve your energy rating, and what the future holds for EPC regulations in the UK.

   

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is an EPC?
  3. Validity Period of EPCs
  4. How Conveyancing Affects EPC Validity
  5. When to Commission a New EPC
  6. Getting a New EPC
  7. Improving Your EPC Rating
  8. The Future of EPCs
  9. Conclusion
 

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate is an important document that provides insight into a property’s energy efficiency. Here are some key facts about EPCs:

  1. It contains details like the property’s energy use, CO2 emissions, fuel costs, and energy efficiency rating.
  2. The energy efficiency is graded from A-G, with A being the most efficient and G the least efficient.
  3. It also suggests recommendations on how to improve the property’s energy efficiency.
  4. EPCs are mandated by law when selling or renting out homes in the UK.
  5. They must be made available to prospective buyers and tenants.
  6. EPCs are produced using standard methodology by qualified energy assessors.
  7. They help home buyers and tenants understand the energy costs and efficiency of a property.

So in summary, an EPC is a standardised document that indicates a property’s energy performance and efficiency to prospective occupants. It is required by law when selling or renting.

How Long Does an EPC Last

Validity Period of EPCs

The amount of time an Energy Performance Certificate remains valid before expiring depends on two key factors:

New Build Properties

For new build residential properties with an energy efficiency rating of A-C, EPCs are valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

Existing Properties

For existing properties, the validity period of EPCs is determined by the energy efficiency rating:

  1. 10 years – If the property has an A-C energy efficiency rating
  2. 7 years – If the property has a D-G energy efficiency rating

Table: EPC Validity Periods by Property Type

Property Type Validity Period
New Build Properties
Energy Efficiency Rating A-C 10 years
Existing Properties
Energy Efficiency Rating A-C 10 years
Energy Efficiency Rating D-G 7 years

So existing properties with higher energy efficiency get 10 years of validity, while less efficient properties only get 7 years. The validity period begins from the certificate issue date.

Why Validity Periods Differ

The key reason new builds get a flat 10 years of Energy Performance Certificate validity, regardless of their rating, is that they are expected to retain their efficiency over that time period. New builds designed to current energy standards should not deteriorate significantly in 10 years.

For existing, older properties, the expectations are different. Older properties tend to become less efficient over time as elements like insulation degrade. So lower rated existing properties get just 7 years of EPC validity compared to 10 years for new builds.

“Kayleigh and her team were brilliant. Simple and efficient. Communication was easy to understand and any questions we had were answered promptly. From start to finish in just 8 weeks on the sale of our house. Highly recommend and would not hesitate to use AVRillo services again.” – Tor, a satisfied AVRillo client.

How Conveyancing Affects EPC Validity

how long does an epc lastDuring the property conveyancing process, having a valid EPC is an absolute must. Conveyancers will check if the property’s Energy Performance Certificate will expire during the conveyancing timeline.

If the EPC expires midway through conveyancing, it can throw a massive spanner in the works, requiring a new Energy Performance Certificate assessment to be commissioned before completion. This can add weeks of delays and hundreds of pounds in additional costs.

Specialised conveyancers like AVRillo stay on top of Energy Performance Certificate validity right from the start. They will inform clients in advance if their EPC looks set to expire during conveyancing and suggest commissioning a new one ahead of time. This prevents the entire transaction process from grinding to a halt.

AVRillo’s deep expertise in conveyancing means they proactively manage Energy Performance Certificate validity and other documentation requirements. Their efficient processes significantly reduce conveyancing timelines compared to general solicitors and prevent sales falling through.

“AVRillo were efficient, kept us informed all the way through and kept their word of Completing within 12 weeks. Can’t recommend them enough. Nicole Morris was outstanding.” – Tess, a satisfied AVRillo client.

When to Commission a New Energy Performance Certificate

There are three main scenarios when you should arrange for a new Energy Performance Certificate assessment:

  • If your current EPC is expired or will expire during conveyancing – As mentioned above, an expired certificate will halt the buying/selling process, so you’ll need to commission a new one.
  • After making energy efficiency improvements – Upgrades like insulation, glazing, heating systems etc. can improve your property’s rating. It’s worthwhile getting a new EPC to benefit from a potentially higher energy efficiency grade.
  • If your property was inaccurately rated before – In rare cases, properties are graded incorrectly. If you have evidence of this, it’s recommended to get a new EPC assessment.

In summary, get a new Energy Performance Certificate when the current one is expired/about to expire, after efficiency upgrades, or if the previous rating was inaccurate.

  Learn more about cheap residential conveyancing costs: 
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Getting a New EPC

The process of getting a new EPC assessment is straightforward:

  1. You must use an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor to produce your Energy Performance Certificate. There are thousands of qualified assessors registered to provide EPCs.
  2. The assessor will visit your property and visually inspect the interior and exterior. They’ll assess elements that impact energy efficiency.
  3. Using their professional judgement and standard assessment methodology, the assessor will produce and issue a new EPC.
  4. Expect to pay between £60-£120 depending on the size of your property. There are no additional hidden fees.
  5. For existing properties, the new EPC will be valid for 10 years if the rating is A-C or 7 years if D-G. New builds get 10 years regardless.

So in summary, getting a new Energy Performance Certificate involves having an on-site inspection by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor and paying their assessment fee. The new certificate will be valid based on your property type and achieved rating.

Improving Your EPC Rating

how long does an epc last

If your goal is to improve your EPC rating, here are some impactful upgrades you can make:

  1. Insulation – Increase loft and wall insulation to reduce heat loss.
  2. Glazing – Upgrade to double/triple glazed windows to retain heat.
  3. Heating system – Switch to a high efficiency gas boiler and get full central heating.
  4. Ventilation – Install mechanical ventilation systems to reduce damp/mould issues.
  5. Renewable energy – Solar PV panels or heat pumps use cleaner energy and lower bills.
  6. Smart controls – Thermostats, valves and sensors optimise heating use.

The government also offers incentives like the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to encourage such upgrades. Improving your Energy Performance Certificate rating early on can help meet tighter minimum standards expected in future.

Table: Energy Efficiency Improvement Options

Upgrade Estimated Impact on EPC Additional Benefits
Insulation Significant Reduces heat loss, lowers energy bills
Double/Triple Glazing Moderate to Significant Improves heat retention, reduces noise pollution
High-Efficiency Boiler Significant Lowers energy costs, improves heating efficiency
Renewable Energy Solutions (e.g., Solar Panels) Significant Reduces carbon footprint, potentially earns RHI
Smart Heating Controls Moderate Optimizes energy use, offers remote control
Enhanced Ventilation Moderate Improves air quality, reduces dampness and mould

The Future of EPCs

While the current minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating is E, regulations are set to tighten:

  1. By 2020, new builds must have a minimum rating of B.
  2. From 2025, private rented properties must have a minimum C rating.
  3. Eventually all homes both new and existing may need to meet a C rating.

As standards get stricter, taking early steps to improve the energy efficiency of your property will help you comply with future regulations.

Conclusion

In summary, the validity period of EPCs depends on factors like the age of your property and its energy efficiency rating. New builds get 10 years validity, while existing properties get 7-10 years based on their rating.

It’s essential to ensure your Energy Performance Certificate will remain valid throughout the conveyancing process. Specialist conveyancers like AVRillo proactively manage this.

When your Energy Performance Certificate nears expiry, after energy upgrades, or if inaccurately rated, you should get a new assessment. This involves hiring an accredited assessor to inspect your property and provide an updated certificate.

With Energy Performance Certificate PC standards set to tighten in future, it makes sense to take proactive measures to improve your property’s energy efficiency and rating.

Learn more about conveyancing quote: 
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  2. What should a conveyancing quote include? 
  3. Can I request a free online conveyancing quote?

FAQ

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that provides details about the energy efficiency of a property. It includes information on the property’s energy use, CO2 emissions, fuel costs, and gives it an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). EPCs are legally required when selling or renting properties in the UK and must be shown to prospective buyers or tenants.

The validity of an EPC depends on the property type. For new build properties with an A-C rating, an EPC is valid for 10 years. For existing properties, EPCs with an A-C rating are valid for 10 years, while those with a D-G rating are valid for 7 years. It’s essential to have a current EPC during the conveyancing process.

You should arrange for a new EPC if your current one is expired or close to expiring, especially during the conveyancing process. Additionally, if you have made significant energy efficiency improvements to your property or if you believe your property was inaccurately rated previously, a new EPC can reflect these changes.

Improving your property’s EPC rating can be achieved through various upgrades. These include enhancing insulation, installing double or triple glazed windows, upgrading to a high-efficiency boiler, incorporating renewable energy solutions like solar panels, and installing smart heating controls. These improvements not only enhance the EPC rating but can also reduce energy bills and increase property value.

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