What is an EPC and when are they useful?

By Harriet Morphew
Energy Certificate with rolls of architecture blueprint - rendering

If you have ever bought or sold a property, or even just taken the time to look at one that is up for sale, then you have probably seen an Energy Performance Certificate – or EPC, as they are commonly referred. They take the form of a small chart graded from A to G in a rainbow of colours.

But is a misconception that EPCs are only useful when you are buying or selling a property. In fact, these certificates have a range of uses and reasons why they could be requested. Here, we take a look at what EPCs are, how they are made, why you might need one and where you can get one for your property.

What is an EPC?

As mentioned above, EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. This is a standardised certificate that measures the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A to G (A being the most energy efficient, G being the least).

The certificate contains information about the energy use and cost in a property, as well as recommendations to allow it to be more energy efficient.

To get an EPC for your property, you need to have an accredited energy assessor visit. They will inspect all of the relevant heating systems and controls, as well as taking measurements and photographs.

When do you need one?

Having an EPC is a legal requirement any time that a property is bought, sold or let. An EPC must be available for buyers and renters when you put your property on the market. However, this is not the only time when an EPC is useful.

Many people believe that EPCs are only relevant for private homes, but this is not the case. Commercial landlords, owners of industrial properties and non-residential properties, such as hotels, also need to have an EPC if they wish to sell.


There are a number of buildings that are exempt from the need to have an EPC. These include:

  • Listed buildings
  • Places of worship
  • Residential buildings intended for use less than 4 months a year
  • Holiday accommodation rented out for less than 4 months a year
  • Temporary buildings (to be used for less than 2 years)
  • Some buildings due to be demolished
  • Standalone buildings with less than 50 square metres of usable floor space
  • Some industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings

Where do you get one?

If you believe that a valid EPC already exists for your property (EPCs are valid for ten years) you can find it and get a copy.

To do so, you will need to have the report reference number (RRN) or the full address of the property. You must then visit the appropriate register site depending on where in the UK the property is based:

If you do not currently have an EPC for the property, you will need to go to an accredited energy assessor.

Final thoughts

If you have any further questions about EPCs and whether or not you need to have a new one created for your property, the team at BSE 3D would be happy to help. Contact us today and we will be able to answer all of your questions.

At BSE 3D are specialists in all aspects of mechanical and electrical engineering, and we also accredited energy assessors, so we can create a new EPC for you.


Talk to Our Expert Team

If you would like to learn more about the range of services we offer, please get in touch for an informal discussion about your needs and requirements.