For many people the need for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is just a “box ticking” exercise, required to sell or rent a property. However, the EPC has become an important document in marketing a property which means having an inaccurate certificate could be costly. With an audit requirement of only 5% for all EPC’s lodged there’s a lot of wrong ones that can slip through the net.
In essence, the EPC provides data on the average running costs to heat, light and supply hot water to meet the demands of the occupant/s. It will also provide recommendations on products to improve the energy efficiency of the property.
We’re all aware of rising fuel costs, buyers and especially tenants more so. When buying or leasing a car who doesn’t compare the running costs; such as miles per gallon (mpg) with other makes and models? House buying, and renting is rapidly becoming the same. Where the difference in energy costs between living in a ‘B’ rated house to a ‘F’ rated house can be around £1350 a year. That’s one month’s rent or a mortgage payment!
It’s highly unlikely an EPC would be this inaccurate, but it highlights the impact of the EPC document.
How can you increase the chances of receiving an accurate, quality EPC? (And not be overcharged!)
A google search will show Assessor websites mixed with, at the top of the page the paid websites these are most likely Panels for energy assessors. These Assessor Panels will take payment and ‘farm out’ the appointment to the cheapest local Assessor. Further down the search page you are likely to have a mixture of Assessor websites and Estate / Letting agent websites. Agents will naturally add their own charge if you instruct them to organise an EPC, this in some cases has doubled the cost. Therefore, we recommend going direct using a local energy Assessor who has a website and reviews. If they’re also promoting their work via social media, then this is also a good sign.
Tell tale signs you have chosen the right Assessor or Assessment company.
- The Assessor is smartly addressed (preferably a company uniform).
- Wearing easily visible ID badge
- On arrival, introduces themself and explains the assessment process
- Ask if the measuring device is sonic or laser, it should be laser. (Let us hope it’s not a tape measure or worse still their doing the John Cleese walk across your lounge!)
- A clear floorplan should be drawn, we prefer a tablet device although its not uncommon to see a pencil and pad still used.
- For safety reasons the Assessor should have the own ladders to access the loft space. It is not the occupants duty to provide a means of access to the loft space.
- Photos of the property and energy features should be taken for audit reasons, if they aren’t being captured during the assessment, then ask why.
- Finally, the Assessor should have allowed time to discuss their findings and any improvements.
We hope this has been a helpful guide but for guaranteed quality, accuracy and professionalism be sure to contact us at PMMServ.
Search the EPC register for your local Energy Assessor