Anyone who is selling, renting out or building a property needs an energy performance certificate. Estate or letting agents will ask for one to display on any promotional materials they use to help sell or rent your property.
A certificate is needed even if there is no heating system at the moment, for example in commercial retail shell units or incomplete dwellings.
For homes, two ratings are shown, the current rating and the potential rating. The actual energy-efficiency rating is a measure of overall efficiency. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the home is, the lower the associated carbon emissions are and the lower fuel bills are likely to be.
The energy efficiency rating is based on the performance of the building itself and its services (such as heating and lighting), rather than the domestic appliances within it. The certificate also lists the potential rating indicating what can be achieved if all the cost-effective measures were installed.
Ratings will vary according to the age, location, size and condition of the building. The potential rating on the certificate will take these factors into account and the suggested measures will be tailored so that they are realistic for the particular building.
Also shown on the EPC is a benchmark rating for an average home in Northern Ireland, again for comparison purposes.
Certificates are valid for 10 years but you should get a new certificate if you carry out any major refurbishment or building work which could change the energy efficiency rating of your property.
You will not need an EPC if:
- you are not selling or renting your property
- you are renting your property and both you and your tenant signed a contract before 30 December 2008
- you are selling your property and the buyer intends to demolish it
Buildings types that do not need an EPC:
- places of worship
- stand-alone buildings of less than 50 square metres (except for dwellings) or
- temporary buildings