Updated Sept 29, 2023
If you’re buying, selling, or even renting a property in the UK, you’ve likely come across an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). An EPC is a crucial document that provides information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs. If you are thinking of purchasing a new build home, then this guide will help you with understanding the requirements.
In this post, we’ll delve into what an EPC for new builds is, what it looks like and why it’s important.
What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that provides information about the energy efficiency of a property. It rates homes from A (highly efficient) to G (inefficient). It gives prospective buyers or tenants an idea of how much it might cost to heat and light the home and its carbon dioxide emissions. It is commonly used in England and Wales to assess the environmental impact and energy usage of residential and commercial buildings.
As well as providing a rating, the EPC also suggests improvements that could help enhance the property’s energy efficiency. EPCs consider various factors related to a property’s energy efficiency. This includes insulation, heating systems, ventilation, and renewable energy sources.
These recommendations can range from major changes, such as installing cavity wall insulation and conversions. It could even include something like opting for more energy-efficient light bulbs. Once issued, an EPC remains valid for 10 years.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) typically comprises several sections spread over four pages.
Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to find in an EPC:
Estimated energy costs: This section provides an estimate of how much it might cost to run the property in terms of energy expenses. It gives you an idea of the potential financial implications associated with energy usage.
Energy-efficiency rating: The EPC includes both the current energy-efficiency rating and a potential rating if improvements can be made. This rating enables you to understand how efficiently the property uses energy and identifies areas for improvement.
Recommended measures: In this section, you will find suggestions on how to save money and enhance energy efficiency within the property. These recommendations may include actions such as improving insulation, upgrading heating systems, or installing renewable energy sources.
Property’s key features: A summary of the key factors affecting the property’s energy performance is provided here. This may include details about windows, walls, roof insulation, and other elements that contribute to its overall efficiency.
Alternative measures: Besides the recommended measures, alternative actions that could be taken to further improve the property’s energy-efficiency ratings may be listed in this section. These alternatives provide additional options for enhancing its overall sustainability.
Assessor information: Details about the person who conducted the assessment are included in this part of the EPC. It provides relevant information about their qualifications and accreditation as an assessor.
Carbon Dioxide emissions ratings: The EPC also indicates the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the property. This information helps evaluate its environmental impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
Heat demand: Finally, this section shows and indication of how much heating might be required for the property. Understanding heat demand help assess potential heating costs and determining appropriate heating solutions.
An EPC offers valuable insights into a property’s energy efficiency, potential cost savings, and recommendations for enhancing sustainability. It serves as a useful resource for homeowners, tenants, and prospective buyers or renters who are interested in understanding the energy performance of a building.
You can check out an example of an EPC on GOV.UK website.
New Build Properties and EPC
Investing in energy-efficient measures during the construction phase of a new build can result in significant cost savings in the long run. By adhering to recommendations provided in the EPC, such as using high-quality insulation materials or installing efficient heating systems, homeowners can enjoy reduced energy expenses over time.
An EPC serves as evidence of a property’s energy efficiency rating. It is increasingly becoming a desirable feature for potential buyers or tenants. New builds with higher EPC ratings attract more interest in the property market for new homes. Therefore, having a good EPC rating may increase the value of a property and potentially facilitate quicker sales or rental agreements.
Energy-efficient new builds have a positive impact on our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering our carbon footprint. By implementing sustainable measures suggested by an EPC, such as using renewable energy sources or optimising insulation levels, we contribute towards creating a greener future.
EPC ratings are often used within the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), a method used to calculate the overall carbon footprint of existing dwellings or new builds.