Energy Performance Certificates
Energy Performance Certificates
Mike Ockenden (Director General) gives expert video advice on: What is an Energy Performance Certificate?; Do I have to put electrical certificates in the pack? and more...
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
An Energy Performance Certificate is a document which tells you how energy-efficient your house is. It tells you what your carbon footprint is. It tells you what the potential energy performance could be on your property and it provides you with recommendations on how you can improve the energy performance of your house. An Energy Performance Certificate is a very pragmatic and really quite useful document. The recommendations will often show you ways to improve the energy performance of your house that make economic sense. If you're moving into a house, it may make sense to spend £300 on day 1 to save £80 per year if you're intending to live there for more than 3 or 4 years.
How much will it cost?
Generally, you won't have a breakdown of the cost of the home information pack. The pack will cost what the pack costs and the EPC will be part of that cost. I don't think you'll find that people will actually be quoting to do EPCs on a stand-alone basis, unless you want it outside of the buying-selling process.
Why do I need one?
The government says you need an Energy Performance Certificate. But let's look at the bigger picture here. Twenty-seven percent of the carbon emissions in this country come from our homes. That's about twice as much as from our cars, for example. We have to find ways to reduce those carbon emissions, and the first step in that process is for people to be aware of how they can reduce their carbon emissions. And that's what the Energy Performance Certificate does. It doesn't just tell you how much carbon you consume and how environmentally friendly your house is or isn't, it actually gives you ways of improving it - simple, constructive recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency of the house, which either the seller or the buyer can decide to take out.
In addition to the HIP, will I need an Energy Performance Certificate?
An Energy Performance Certificate is part of a HIP, so you don't need one separate to the Home Information Pack - it's already in it.
Do I act on the recommendation made in the Energy Performance Certificate?
Whether you act on the recommendations that are made in a EPC is absolutely down to you as an individual, but I'll just mention a couple of things. Firstly, it may well make economic sense to act on those recommendations. The best time, for example, to improve the insulation in your loft is when you're moving in and before you put all the tea chests and the junk on top of the joists. The other thing that I would mention is that in many places up and down the country, you can get grants to improve the image and performance of your property, and so it may well be worthwhile seeing if there is a grant available to help you put those recommendations into place that ultimately are going to save you money.
Do I have to put electrical certificates in the pack?
You don't have to put electrical certificates in the Home Information Pack at the present time. One of the things that we put before government is that it may well be a good thing to improve, to include in the pack in due course on a mandatory basis. Of course, if you have a certificate of the electrical wiring in your house and it's good, we suggest that you put it in the pack. It's going to be a selling point.