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An Energy Performance Certificate is a document which gives your property a rank in terms of energy efficiency, and is something which sellers have to give to purchasers. It’s a good idea to apply for your Certificate prior to putting your home on the market. The Energy Performance Certificate has lots of information regarding the energy use of the property as well as costs and information to help make the property even more efficient. The certificate shows rankings from A to G, with A being the most efficient rating. It’s important to note however, that if you live in Scotland you will need to provide a ‘home report’ which is much more extensive as it includes a survey and property questionnaire as well as the Energy Performance Certificate.

If you already have a Green Deal assessment, you won’t need to apply for an Energy Performance Certificate, as it includes both an EPC and Occupancy Assessment which has personalised information about the household included. Having the Green Deal assessment means that you can borrow money specifically for energy-saving improvements and has the added bonus that the repayments won’t exceed the savings made from improvements.

For most people it is a necessary requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate, however it isn’t required if your property is listed as the type of building prohibits the installation of things such as double glazing or any other structural changes. For any other property it is important to apply for one before putting your home on the market, as this will speed up the process. If you were given an Energy Performance Certificate when you moved into the property (post 2007) it will still be valid, as EPC’s are valid for ten years before they need to be renewed. In which case you will not need to apply for a new one, so check all your documentation as you may well have one already.

You will need to contact an accredited energy assessor in your area who will check your property and issue the certificate. The prices vary depending on the size and location of your property. They range from £24 to about £120 for larger properties. However in Scotland you will need a ‘home report’ which costs at least £600. Your estate agent may be able to arrange an Energy Performance Certificate but is likely to charge commission, so it is a good idea to arrange it yourself independently. If so, contact a few different assessors to find out the cost as they do vary and you may be able to negotiate the price, so it’s worth asking. It certainly isn’t necessary to go with a more expensive option as it won’t help sell your property if it cost more. Any Energy Performance Certificate is necessary and will help sell your home, regardless of the cost. However, if you haven’t got one in place when you come to sell your home it could delay sales or put potential buyers off.

by Cormac Henderson

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