Why you need an Energy Certificate for selling your house (and how to get one)

If you’re selling, renting or building a new home in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you are legally obliged to obtain an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).

This shows potential buyers or tenants how energy efficient your property is and estimates the costs of heating and lighting, alongside its estimated carbon emissions and impact on the planet.

If you receive an excellent rating, an EPC is also a great way to make your house more appealing to potential buyers.

Otherwise, it allows you to make small changes like installing double glazing or switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs so you can improve your home’s energy efficiency, reduce your bills and increase the value of your home.

The EPC certificate must be ordered before you put your house on the market and must be available to show potential buyers or tenants.

But what exactly is an EPC? Who needs one? How much do they cost? And how do you get an Energy Performance Certificate in your local area?

Keep reading to find out more.

What is an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)?

An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a government-approved rating system that explains how energy-efficient your home is.

It uses a rating from A to G (with A being the most energy-efficient) alongside a colour-coded system to make it easier to understand at a glance. You’ve probably seen the same energy efficiency rating stickers if you’ve recently bought a new appliance like a fridge. The EPC is based on the same colour-coded system.

When you receive your EPC, you’ll better understand how much it costs to heat and light your property and its estimated carbon emissions. Bear in mind that these are usually based on the average household of two adults and two children and may not be accurate for your unique circumstances.

The EPC also provides advice on which simple changes you can make to your home to improve its EPC rating such as switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs, installing double glazing, and so on.

They will also explain what your potential EPC rating would be if you made these changes, their potential cost, and how much you could save on your utility bills.

Energy Certificate for selling your house

Do I need an EPC when selling my house?

Yes, if you are selling, renting or building a new property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you will need an EPC. This must be ordered before you market your house and must be available to show prospective buyers or tenants.

Having said that, there are some exceptions. The following properties do not need an EPC.

  • Temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
  • Some buildings that are due to be demolished
  • Holiday accommodation that is rented for less than four months of the year
  • Places of worship
  • Residential buildings used for less than four months of the year
  • Stand-alone buildings with a total useful floor space of less than 50m2

If your home is a listed building, you may be exempt from needing an EPC although this does depend on your building’s unique circumstances. Always get advice first from your local authority conservation officer.

How much does an EPC cost in the UK?

The cost of obtaining an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is usually between £60 and £120. This depends on the size of your property, the type of building and where it is located.

How do you get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are valid for 10 years from the date of issue. This means that you may not yet need a new EPC.

For that reason, check the EPC register here first to find out if you already have one.

If not, you will need to order an EPC through an accredited assessor. Our team here at Cobb Farr can help you do this quickly and efficiently so you can sell or rent your house faster.

This assessor will visit your home and carry out a thorough inspection, suggesting any improvements that can be made and then issue the certificate. They will provide you with a digital copy of your EPC which you can print if required.

Usually, the entire process takes just 10 days from booking to assessment to certificate delivery.

Is there a minimum EPC rating when selling or renting my house?

No, there isn’t a minimum EPC rating you need to achieve when selling your home.

However, if you are renting your property, the rules are slightly different. Your property must achieve a rating of E or more (unless you qualify for certain exemptions).

What if I don’t get an Energy Performance Certificate?

If you don’t have an EPC when planning to sell or rent your property, you could be faced with a fine of up to £5,000.


The EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a legal requirement when selling or renting a home in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It explains how energy efficient your home is, your potential utility costs and carbon emissions, using a colour-coded scale from A to G. It also provides information on how to make small changes so your home can become more eco-friendly.

By obtaining an EPC, you can highlight the benefits of living in your property to potential buyers and tenants, making it more likely you’ll find your ideal buyer or tenant faster.

Need an EPC to sell or rent your property in Bath, Bradford on Avon or Somerset?

We can help! Contact our friendly team at Cobb Farr today.

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