If you are thinking of renting a property, then you need to be aware of what an EPC is, and how to interpret it. Knowing the finer details can save you a lot of money, and also give you an idea of the type of property you will be living in. All buildings that are newly built, sold or rented have to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) by law.
EPC’s are valid for ten years, and they can help you to roughly calculate how much you will have to pay out for different bills. When renting a property, a lot of people simply consider the monthly rental price, and don’t think enough about just how much bills could be on top of this, and then end up paying out more than they’d hoped. Here’s 8 important things to note on an EPC.
EPC colour ratings
To make things easier, EPC reports are colour coded, so that if you are browsing lots of different properties online, you can quickly glance at the energy efficiency of each one. Dark green bars are highly energy efficient and red represents a very low energy efficiency level.
EPC letter ratings
They are also given a letter from A to G, with A being the highest, and G being the lowest. The average is around Grade D (yellow). Basically, if you rent a property that is rated A, it’s probably well-insulated, modern and highly energy efficient. If you rent a G, you can expect an older, draughty property. The higher the rating (i.e. A), the lower your energy bills are likely to be.
EPC potential rating
EPC’s also show a properties potential rating, which means the rating it could possibly get to if the owner makes certain changes. This is also handy to keep in mind, because if your landlord makes a few improvements, you could save a bit more money. However, don’t use this rating when judging a property, calculate potential costs based on the actual rating. Recommendations are usually listed on page three, so it might be worth checking these to see how easily they could be implemented.
The summary of energy performance related features
EPC’s have a section that breaks down energy performance into different areas, such as the walls, windows and heating. This is handy, because if you know you use a lot of one thing, such as hot water, then you can check the individual rating for it. Each of these energy performance related features has a star rating, with five stars being the highest.
Environmental impact chart
As well as the energy performance chart, you need to make a note of the environmental impact rating, especially if this is an issue that’s close to your heart. The environmental impact rating measures a property's impact on the environment, this is measured in its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The higher the rating is, the less impact your property is having on the environment. Like the energy efficiency chart, it also shows the current and potential and goes from A to G, with A being the highest. This chart is shown in blue.