Energy Performance Certificates: Do I Need an EPC to Sell my House?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

Selling your house can be a highly stressful and time-consuming experience. Homeowners often find themselves swimming in paperwork, following strict processes and forgetting about important things that need to be taken care of. We want to help make the whole experience as straightforward as possible for you. One of the most common questions that we are asked at Emma’s Properties is ‘do I need EPC to sell my house?’. The short answer is, yes. However – as with many things in life, it’s not quite that simple. That’s why we are here to provide a clear answer for you. This blog will explain what an EPC is, why you might need one to sell your house and what the current regulations are in the UK.

What is an energy performance certificate?

Do I need an EPC to sell my house? Before we answer that, some of you may be wondering, ‘what is an EPC?’. An EPC is an energy performance certificate – a document that provides critical information on the energy efficiency of a building, using a rating scale that ranges from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). It can also be visualised going from green (A) to red (G), with yellow and oranges representing the middle of the scale. These ratings show you how expensive it will be to use energy at your property, as well as the carbon dioxide emissions it will produce. Essentially, an A rating represents a well-insulated house, whereas a G rating would represent a poorly insulated house.

An EPC takes the following into account when measuring the energy efficiency of a building: walls, roof, floor, windows, main heating, main heating controls, secondary heating, hot water and lighting.

Why do I need an energy performance certificate?

It’s important to show potential buyers how energy-efficient your house is, as this allows them to determine whether or not they would be able to live comfortably in your property, either before or after sustainable changes have been made. Knowing how much your energy bills are likely to cost can be a key factor when it comes to making a decision about a house. It won’t give potential buyers an exact figure, as this will depend on the number of people in the property and what appliances they use, but it’s still a useful estimate.

Another important reason for having an EPC is that they highlight opportunities for improvement using a recommended rating on how efficient the home could be if certain changes or upgrades were made. For example, investing in energy-efficient lightbulbs, double glazing and better insulation. You can find more information on energy-saving options here. If you do choose to invest in improving the energy efficiency of your home, we recommend getting a new EPC to reflect these changes and show off your well-insulated house.

When do I need an energy performance certificate (EPC)?

Since 2008, it’s been a legal requirement to hold an EPC whenever you sell a property in the UK, this is the same when buying or building. If you don’t get an EPC when required, you will be fined – unless you fall into a special exemption category. We’ll cover these in further detail momentarily. In Scotland, the process is very similar, but does differ slightly. Your EPC certificate produced will need to be displayed in the property itself, for example, in the boiler cupboard or near your energy meter. Remember, the person selling your property (the vendor) is responsible for ensuring that you have a valid EPC prior to putting it up for sale – another reason why you should use a trusted agent, such as Emma’s Properties, when selling your house. We make the process easier and can help you find energy-efficient houses for sale.

Buildings that don’t require an EPC

As promised, here we will cover the buildings that fall into the special exemption category of not requiring an EPC:
• Temporary buildings that will be used for less than two years;
• Buildings with less than 50 m2 of space, that stand alone;
• Places of worship;
• Industrial locations/workshops/agricultural buildings, provided that they don’t use a lot of energy;
• Buildings that are going to be demolished;
• Residential buildings or holiday accommodation in use (rented) for less than four months a year;
• Listed buildings.

If you’re not sure if your home or building fits under one of these categories, or if you want to see the full list, the government has a full list on its website.

How to get an energy performance certificates

It’s quite simple – your property will need to be assessed by an accredited domestic energy assessor. But how much does an energy performance certificate cost?

The cost of obtaining an EPC varies depending on the size of your property and other factors, though it generally ranges from £35 to £120. You can find a list of assessors here. Remember to compare them in order to find the best and most suitable deal for your needs. If you’re in Scotland, you’ll need to access a different list, which you can find here.

We highly recommend using an agent to help guide you through this process. At Emma’s Properties, we will help you to obtain a new EPC or renew an existing one – providing ongoing support so you get the best deal for you. Find out more about our services by visiting our website.

How long is an energy performance certificate valid for?

An energy performance certificate is valid for ten years. However, as mentioned prior, if you decide to invest in improving the energy efficiency of your home, we recommend getting a new EPC to reflect these changes.

Can you list a house without an EPC?

Yes, you can list a house without an EPC, but only if you arrange an EPC survey prior to putting your property on the market to sell or rent. Nevertheless, you cannot sell a house without one.

Do I need an EPC to sell my house?

The short answer is, of course, yes, you need an EPC to sell your house. Despite this, as we touched on, there are some special circumstances that could mean you are exempt.

To learn more about property selling your property, read our blog here.

If you’re planning to sell or rent a property in the UK, you are legally required to provide potential buyers with an EPC. Emma’s Properties can guide you through this process, ensuring everything moves as smoothly as it should. For expert advice, feel free to contact us directly on 121 794 4916 or email us at