Your questions answered!
Will an EPC be needed for Holiday accomodation?
From 30th June 2011 an EPC will be required for a property rented out as a holiday let where the building is occupied as a result of a short term letting arrangement and is rented out for a combined total of 4+Months in any 12 month period.
Why has the EPC been Introduced?
Energy Performance Certificates have been introduced as a result of European law, not UK law. They are being introduced in all countries within the European Union simultaneously.
Buildings are major consumers of energy. Within the European Community approximately 40% of final energy consumption is in the building sector. By improving the energy efficiency research has indicated that carbon emissions from buildings could be reduced by 22%. This will aid the European Union in obtaining its climate change objectives and improve the energy performance of new and existing buildings.
There have been a lot of mixed press on the introduction of Home Information Packs and Energy Performance Certificates. However, due to the Energy Performance Certificates being a part of European law they will still be a legal requirement regardless of what the government or future governments decide to do with the Home Information Pack.
Why do I Need an EPC?
An EPC is required because from 10th September 2007 all domestic properties with 3 or more bedrooms marketed for sale must have a Home Information Pack which is to be made available to any potential buyer. Each Home Information Pack must contain (by law) an Energy Performance Certificate.
The EPC allows consumers to clearly see how they can make their home more energy efficient and reduce the carbon emissions it produces. It will also show how much a consumer can save on their energy bills by implementing the recommended improvements within the EPC.
When do I have to provide a HIP?
Until 31/12/2007 a property can be put on the market as soon as the required documents have been commissioned. During this period it is not necessary to wait until the documents have been received. However the documents should be obtained as soon as possible and a pack must be made available to the potential purchaser when the EPC has been received.
From the 1/1/2008 the HIP including the EPC must be available to anyone interested in the property from the time it is first placed on the market
Who carries out an EPC?
The EPC must be carried out by a licensed Domestic Energy Assessor. To become licensed the DEA must obtain the government accredited qualification and then join a government accredited professional body. The Professional Accreditation body make the necessary checks (criminal records checks etc) to verify that the person is suitable to become a DEA.
Only DEAs and Home Inspectors are licensed to produce EPCs in England and Wales. The Energy Performance Certificate will have the name and accreditation number on it and be registered on a central database held by the DEAs accredited professional body.
How is the Energy Inspection carried out?
An appointment will be made for the inspection to be carried out. It is preferable for the vendor to be present during the inspection; however, if this is not possible it will be required for the assessor to ask some questions by telephone prior to inspecting the property. If the property is vacant access will need to be arranged.
A Domestic Energy Assessor will visit the property looking at various aspects of the properties build including the age and construction, heating systems, loft insulation etc. The assessor will need access to all parts of the house including the loft, airing cupboard, boiler and electricity meter. The inspection will take approximately 1 hour where by all the necessary data is collected. The energy assessor will then produce the EPC in the office which will be sent to the client or agent.
What does the client have to do?
An appointment will need to be made for the inspection to be carried out. It is best if the vendor is present during the inspection as the assessor will need to ask some questions. If this is not possible then it may be necessary for the assessor to make assumptions or to ask the questions later by telephone.
If the property is vacant then access will need to be arranged.
Please note that the assessor will not enter a house where only children or teenagers are present
How long is an EPC valid for?
The Energy Performance Certificate is technically valid for 10 years. However, on the day a property is marketed for sale, the EPC can be no more than 12 months old.
Who has access to the Energy Performance Certficate?
Permission to view the Energy Performance Certficate by prospective buyers or estate agents must be given by the owner of the Home Information Pack.
When will 1 & 2 bedroom properties require a HIP?
The HIPs are being introduced on a phased basis to ensure there are enough Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) to produce the EPCs which form a compulsory part of the pack. 1 & 2 bedroom houses are being introduced on the 14th December 2007.
The government must introduce Energy Performance Certificates for all domestic dwellings by January 2009. By this time they will be a legal requirement for anyone selling their residential property regardless of the number of bedrooms.
Properties already on the market before the commencement date (1st August 2007) will not need a HIP. This exemption will apply for as long as marketing continues. However, the government may appoint a date which all properties on the market will require a HIP regardless of when they were first marketed..
What happens if my home gets a low rating?
A low rating will simply indicate that the home could be more energy efficient. A number of recommendations to improve energy efficiency will be identified. It is entirely up to the home owner whether to implement the recommendations or not. By implementing these recommendations the home owner could not only increase the rating but also save money on energy bills.