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Energy Performance Certificates Explained

January 31st, 2019

Most people involved in a property transaction in recent years will be familiar with Energy Performance Certificates, or “EPCs” as they are commonly referred to. EPCs were introduced in England and Wales in 2007 and have been subject to ongoing legislative revision. EPCs are part of wider energy efficiency legislation and are aimed specifically at monitoring energy consumption and improving energy efficiency in both commercial and domestic buildings.

What Do The EPC Ratings Mean?

An EPC is the certificate produced by a qualified EPC assessor, who will assess various building components that relate to energy production and retention, for example, heating, insulation and glazing.  The final certificate shows the energy efficiency rating and environmental impact rating of the building’s operation on a scale from A to G, with A being the highest energy efficiency/environmentally friendly rating possible.

A high energy efficiency rating corresponds to lower energy bills and a high environment impact rating indicates minimal environmental impact. The certificate also shows a ‘potential’ rating, which is the rating that the building could achieve if certain recommended energy efficiency alterations were implemented. These recommendations are listed in a separate ‘recommendation report’, which is provided with the EPC.  EPCs are required for both commercial and domestic buildings and involve different energy performance assessments.

Understanding the EPC

In the example EPC shown below, the property is currently in Band F, with a rating of 37. This means that in its present state, the property is not very energy efficient, resulting in higher energy bills. The EPC also shows that the building has the potential to move up to Band D, with a rating of 73.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating example

When Do You Need An EPC?

An EPC is required in the following scenarios:

– The sale or rental of an existing property (EPC to be provided by the owner/landlord).

– The construction of a new property (EPC to be provided by the party completing the building work).

– Alteration of an existing property, depending on the extent of the alteration.

– In existing properties where the owner or occupier has taken measures to improve the energy efficiency.

– Where a Green Deal Plan is in place for the property.

There are however exceptional circumstances where an EPC need not be provided, and certain properties which are exempt from EPC requirements.


For further information and advice on EPC requirements, please contact one of our specialist residential property or commercial property lawyers. Talk to us on 01494 773377 or email us at 



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