I need to get an EPC for my flat. Are all the providers on Google much of a muchness? Any recommendations or ones to avoid please? Prices seem to go from £40 up to over £100 which feels quite broad.
Out of interest, why do you need an EPC on your flat - are you renting or selling it?
I thought EPCs were the same regardless of the reason? However as I asked earlier in the year for an estate agent recommendation, it’s no secret that I’m looking for a little more space
Yes, they are the same, it’s just that some people think that an EPC is a sort of householder requirement even when staying put.
If you’re selling, an estate agent would normally provide an EPC as part of their package but I could put you onto someone who charges around £60 or £70 if and when you decide you need one. By the way, does your flat have an old or expired one that you’re looking to uprate?
Ah… gotcha. No, have never had one. I suspect that as it’s single glazed, original floorboards and built in the late 1890s, that it’s going to be a fairly dismal rating but hey, I need it.
Thanks John. The estate agents I’ve spoken to say that it’s cheaper to do it independently although they can get me on if needed. I just thought I might as well check on the wealth of knowledge here too.
They’re a bit useless for period properties as they take no account as to how period houses work. Eg you lose points because you don’t have cavity wall insulation, even though your house has 13" solid brick walls and therefore is brilliantly cool in summer and warm in winter. Also having a void under the floor, designed to let the house breathe and avoid damp and condensation seems to cost you points.
They’re a meaningless tick box exercise but sadly a legal requirement… However, they last for 10 years and there are things you can do in advance to boost your results. For instance, just changing light bulbs in advance of the inspection can make a big difference to your rating.
Oh really? I think I’m mostly energy/LED bulbs anyhow but if there are any other top tips on how to improve it, I’m open to hearing them!
I’ve used this chap who lives locally for an EPC on a property I let out
You can also improve your rating by having the sort of chunky thermostatic valves on your radiators that let you control the temperature on each individual radiator. Which I think is bizarre because you can just as easily turn your radiators down using normal valves. But, like LED lighting, it’s a cheap fix to improve your rating.
Some websites suggest things like sealing up chimney breasts. But that’s bonkers because that will lead to damp, not just for your property but if you’re in a terrace or semi for the neighbours too. And once you get staining coming through from a neighbour’s blocked up chimney it’s the very devil to remove.
Whoever designed the EPC probably had a vested interest in selling something. Our housing stock is designed to breathe.
For those of us who’ve still got open fireplaces an eco friendly and damp free alternative to blocking the chimney is a device called the Chimney Sheep which come in various shapes and sizes and are basically a Herdwick wool draught excluder that you can put up your chimney when it’s not in use and remove when it is. We’ve had one that’s lasted for years and it really does keep the heat in and the draughts out.
And here are a couple of things to show just how meaningless they are -
Someone can legally buy and live in a property with an F or G rating, but it is illegal for a landlord to rent-out a property with a rating below E.
There are some exceptions to the minimum E for lettings though, the most STUPID of which is that if it would cost more than £3,500 (might’ve changed to 5k?) to bring a property up to the E standard… you’ll never guess… it’s exempt and perfectly legal to let.
I’m not quite sure I agree with this. Sure, heavy walls can have an advantage insofar as their thermal mass absorbs heat during the day to radiate it at night… and kind of vice versa etc… But most of the energy loss in a house is through air leakage particularly where heated or cold air escapes to the exterior. That is why well insulated, air tight structures are much much more energy efficient then thick walled, uninsulated Victoria homes.