This snapshot, taken on
23/04/2011
, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date.
 
 
The UK Government Web Archive does not use cookies but some may be left in your browser from archived websites.

Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Public services all in one place

Main menu

Energy Performance Certificates – what they are

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) give information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. All homes bought, sold or rented require an EPC. Find out what EPCs look like and what they contain.

Example of energy efficiency rating graph for homes


 

Energy Performance Certificates – what they tell you

EPCs contain:

  • information on your home's energy use and carbon dioxide emissions
  • a recommendation report with suggestions to reduce energy use and carbon dioxide emissions

Energy use and carbon dioxide emissions

EPCs carry ratings that compare the current energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions with potential figures that your home could achieve. Potential figures are calculated by estimating what the energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions would be if energy saving measures were put in place.

The rating measures the energy and carbon emission efficiency of your home using a grade from ‘A’ to ‘G’. An ‘A’ rating is the most efficient, while ‘G’ is the least efficient. The average efficiency grade to date is 'D'. All homes are measured using the same calculations, so you can compare the energy efficiency of different properties.

Around 27 per cent of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions come from domestic homes. Carbon dioxide contributes to climate change. Find out more by reading ‘Climate change: a quick guide’.

The recommendation report

EPCs also provide a detailed recommendation report showing what you could do to help reduce the amount of energy you use and your carbon dioxide emissions. The report lists:

  • suggested improvements, like fitting loft insulation
  • possible cost savings per year, if the improvements are made
  • how the recommendations would change the energy and carbon emission rating of the property

You don’t have to act on the recommendations in the recommendation report. However, if you decide to do so, it could make your property more attractive for sale or rent by making it more energy efficient.

For more information on saving energy and whether you are eligible for energy efficiency grants to make your home more energy efficient, follow the link below.

The certificate also contains:

  • detailed estimates of potential energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel costs
  • details of the person who carried out the EPC assessment
  • who to contact if you want to make a complaint

The EPC Adviser - make your own recommendation report

The EPC Adviser is an online tool that shows you what you can do to make your home more energy-efficient. You just need your EPC reference number and it will calculate how much money and carbon you can save.

You’ll get an instant report that you can change depending on what you would like to do to your home. For example, you might be planning to add loft insulation. So you can add that and see how much money you could save. You can try as many different combinations as you like before you view your results for total cost and energy savings.

What an EPC looks like

Information about energy efficiency and carbon emissions is summarised in two charts that show the energy and carbon dioxide emission ratings. The charts look similar to those supplied on electrical appliances, like fridges and washing machines. To see an example of an Energy Performance Certificate, use the link below.

How to get an EPC

You should receive an EPC when you are thinking about buying or renting a home. You’ll need to provide one if you are selling or letting your home. See ‘Getting an Energy Performance Certificate’ for more information.

Which buildings need an EPC

An EPC is required when a building is constructed, rented or sold. A building will need an EPC if it has a roof and walls and uses energy to ‘condition an indoor climate’. This means it has heating, air conditioning or mechanical ventilation. For example, a garden shed would not need an EPC if it doesn’t have any heating.

The building can either be a whole building or part of a building that has been designed or altered to be used separately. If a building is made up of separate units, each with its own heating system, each unit will need an EPC.

For more details of when and which types of buildings require an EPC, read ‘Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings’ on the Communities and Local Government website.

Which buildings don’t need an EPC

The following buildings don’t need an EPC when they are built, rented or sold:

  • places of worship
  • temporary buildings that will be used for less than two years
  • standalone buildings with total useful floor area of less than 50 square metres that aren’t used to provide living accommodation for a single household
  • industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don't use a lot of energy

EPCs for business premises

Owners of all commercial buildings also have to provide an EPC when they sell or let commercial premises. For more information about this, follow the link below to the businesslink.gov.uk website.

Was this information useful?

How useful did you find this information?

500 character limit
Your Privacy Opens new window

Why are we asking for this information?

  • we want to hear what you think about the quality and usefulness of our pages
  • your comments will help us improve our pages
  • your comments will also help with the future development of Directgov
  • telling us what you think will help make sure we give you the very best service

Access keys