With so much attention being drawn to climate change, as a result of the current UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, we thought we’d go back to basics and provide a reminder to property owners, and landlords, to check out how Energy Efficient your property really is and highlight how it could affect its value.
How energy efficient is your property?
You can find out how energy efficient your property is by obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate (an EPC) which includes details about its energy costs and usage and also provides recommendations about how to reduce these. There are different ratings allocated from A to G with a rating of A indicating your property is very energy efficient and a G rating, at the other end of the scale, highlighting it isn’t.
There may already be an EPC allocated to your property (especially if it’s been sold or let within the last 10 years) but for further information (or to find out how to get a new EPC) go to the government site for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and for properties in Scotland visit here
Do I need an EPC?
Not necessarily. EPC’s are definitely needed whenever a property is built or sold and there’s strict rules that apply to those being let too. If you are thinking about selling or letting your property in the future, an EPC could help you in identifying if improvements can be made - or which improvements need to be made. Even if you are not planning to make a move in the foreseeable future, an EPC can also, of course, be a ‘wake up call’ about how good – or bad – the energy efficiency of your property is and could soon lead you to save money on your energy costs if you decide to make changes.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes. There are some exceptions i.e. holiday lets may not require an EPC, a property that is protected due its architecture or history or even residential buildings which will not be used for more than four months a year are exempt. If you suspect your property may be exempt, your local authority – or an accredited energy assessor – should be able to confirm this for you.
How much does an EPC cost?
The cost of an EPC varies, dependent on who you choose to produce one for you, but generally it is not an excessive amount and, as it forms part of a Home Report in Scotland, the cost is absorbed within this when selling your property. The EPC (which lasts for ten years) has to be produced by an accredited energy assessor (who is member of a government approved accreditation scheme) with the seller, landlord or property owner being liable for the cost. It’s not something that a buyer or tenant would organise.
An estate or letting agent can often help you in gaining a EPC (as part of their service to you) and at Reeds Rains we offer a 40% discount to the cost if, as a seller, you decide to take advantage our Professional Marketing Package.
Does it make a difference to the value of a property?
According to recent research from Rightmove it can. (*) The property portal has recently announced:
- Upgrading an EPC from an F to C rating can add an average 16% to the property price
- Upgrading from an E to C can add an average 8% and,
- Upgrading from a D to C can add an average 4% to the property price
If considering the average asking price of a property is £344,445 this equates to £55,111, £27,556 and £13,778 respectively.
It can obviously cost money to make improvements but with Rightmove also stating that 22% of properties have already upgraded their property to a C rating in the last five years, it seems that more homeowners are now taking note of the advantages of energy efficiency - and that buyers are prepared to pay for properties that offer it. And, of course, as implied at COP26, if we are all prepared to ‘do our bit for the planet’ the benefits can be widespread for all.
If you would you like to find out how Reeds Rains can help you in selling or letting your property - including providing advice about EPC’s – simply contact one of our branches or book a free market valuation today.
(*) Rightmove analysed over 200,000 homes listed on its site that had sold twice, with an improved EPC rating the second time, to understand the impact of energy efficiency improvements on the final sold price of a home. October 2021.