Are You Energy Efficient?
by Linda Nightingale
If you are considering selling your property you will need an EPC Certificate, but even if you’re not, it may be worth getting one done anyway to assess your energy output.
Whether you are eco friendly or just someone who needs a warm living environment with an affordable heating bill, then you should look carefully at the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property. The certificate gives an indication of a property’s current condition and provides an insight into how to improve the status quo.
WHAT EXACTLY IS AN EPC?
An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A, (the most efficient) to G, (the least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. The certificate also uses the scale to define the impact a home has on the environment the higher rated properties normally having less impact through carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, it recommends how to improve the energy efficiency of the property.
The EPC’s were introduced in England and Wales on 1st August 2007 and were originally part of the Home Information Packs. The packs were removed in May 2010 but the requirement to have an EPC has continued.
These certificates are a Government requirement for anyone proposing to sell a property, (although there are of course exceptions), and you will find these colourful rating charts on the property details usually supplied by an estate agent.
If you are marketing through an estate agent, in most cases they agree to arrange this on your behalf, although there is normally a fee, or you can organise an inspection directly. An accredited assessor will visit the property and examine relevant items such as domestic boiler, hot water tank, loft insulation, radiators and windows etc. This is input into a software programme, which calculates the energy efficiency. So, if you are buying or selling, this is an important consideration.
BUYING WITH BENEFIT OF KNOWLEDGE
If you are keen on buying a particular property just check the Energy Efficient Rating as they can vary tremendously in their results. Brand new homes and those built in recent years tend to come out high and a home built as an eco home can reach the dazzling heights of an A! These types of property tend to radically reduce your running costs for a similar property of an earlier vintage.
If you are going to sell your home, then you will know the cost of running your home, and the rooms that can be a bit fresh on a cold winter’s night. Now might be the time to look at some of these items and consider rectification before actually putting the property on the market.
As a vendor, remember to have some gas and electricity bills available if your house is particularly cheap to run. In this day and age, whatever the size of the property, outgoings are important and need to be assessed. If you have a property, which has consistently low bills, then don’t be afraid to show potential purchasers.
A lot of information about the mandatory certificates can be found on the web sites and your estate agent will be able to discuss it with you. Obviously if you want to market quickly, you need to organise securing this information as soon as possible.