Help and Advice

Independent housing advice on all aspects of housing in university accommodation and the private sector.

Energy Performance Certificates

It's now the law for a landlord to show you a property's Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when you look around - free of charge.

What is it?

A six-page document that gives you an idea of how energy efficient and environmentally friendly the property is.  See a sample version.

What to look for

The key stuff is on page one where you'll find an easy-to-read ratings chart showing you how efficient the property is out of 100, on an A-G scale.

Tip: Look for houses with a higher rating - anything below 35, or in categories F or G, is not really fit to live in.

A table shows approximate prices for utility bills for that property, allowing you to easily compare different houses.

Tip: Bear in mind that the prices are based on assumptions about how many people are in the house and their daily routines.  These are are likely to be much lower in energy use than ‘student lifestyles.'

Why it's important

It's the law - if the landlord doesn't show you an EPC, they can be fined £200.  Do you really want to rent from a landlord who doesn't meet their legal obligations?

If you look round a house that seems cheap, check the energy efficiency as it might reveal hidden heating costs. Likewise, if a house is quite expensive and is also low efficiency, you could be paying over the odds and might want to ask the landlord to lower the rent.

It gives you another tool in comparing houses you look at, and gives you an idea of future costs.

Read more information from Shelter about Energy Performance Certificates.


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