3 September 2010 by Sarah Davies

EPC ……………… Excellent Plan or Totally pointless?

Home Information Packs (HIPs) were introduced by the last Government with the aim of making the process of selling your home much quicker. They were designed to provide a ready source of information on a property for a potential buyer and had to be arranged and paid for by the seller before marketing the property. In addition to searches and title information, HIPs also contained an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). HIPs have now been abolished by the current Government but EPCs have been retained where you are selling a property (this includes newly built properties) and also if you rent your property.

So what is an EPC? An EPC is a report carried out on your home providing information on current energy efficiency, how to improve energy efficiency and how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It is carried out by an energy assessor and can cost anything from £35 to £150 depending on the size of your home and the provider of the report.

The EPC is divided into two parts. The first provides information on a property’s current energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. It contains two energy efficiency rating graphs which give your home a rating in bands A-G. An ‘A’ rated home is the most energy efficient and ‘G’ the least efficient. These rating graphs will be familiar to anyone owning a new fridge or washing machine! Two ratings are given, the first giving the current band and the second indicating the band the property could move in to if energy saving measures are introduced.

The second part of the EPC sets out detailed recommendations on how to improve your home’s energy efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, including projected financial savings once any recommendations have been implemented. A chart examines the different parts of your home and its energy efficiency e.g. the roof, windows, heating system, lighting etc. Each of those parts is then rated on a scale of very poor to very good. The recommendations made range from energy saving light bulbs and loft insulation to more substantial steps like the installation of solar panels.

There is a vast amount of information available online, on both Government and private websites, on saving energy and the measures you can introduce to reduce your environmental impact. You may be able to track down some free energy saving light bulbs or even be eligible for a grant for a new boiler or solar panels. Being energy efficient can therefore help your pocket as well as the planet.

With energy efficiency being very much a topic of our time it would be interesting to know just how many people take on board the findings of an EPC when deciding which property to buy or rent, and whether people actually carry out any of the recommendations in the report. From experience, I have yet to come across a client who has decided not to proceed with a purchase based on the results of an EPC.

While their influence in the process of selling or renting your home may be negligible, EPCs are definitely here to stay.

2 September 2010 by Matthew Miller

In The Shadows

Sorry to disappoint all you Hank Marvin fans, but this blog has nothing to do with the band.

2 September 2010 by Sonal Ghelani

Building a conservatory or porch

Generally for Building a conservatory you would not need Building Regulation approval provided the floor area is 30 square metres or less, its roof is of transparent material and its walls are of toughened safety glass.

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