I had to waste my money on one of those Energy Performance Certificate’s (EPC) for the first time recently.
For my Sins, they were made a legal requirement for all landlords back in October 2008. Since then, landlords have been legally obligated to show all prospective tenants (i.e. before any official tenancy is formed) the energy performance report. The idea is that the EPC’s will give prospective tenants an indication of how energy efficient a property is, so they can determine how comparatively expensive (or cheap) it will be to heat a property during winter.
Great, yet another useless piece of legislation that we have to dig into our pockets for. I say “useless”, because from my experience, tenants don’t give a shit about how ‘energy efficient’ a property is. In fact, most of them don’t even know EPC’s exist, let alone show any interest in the document when I casually wave it around under their noses. Maybe it’s like beer– we’ll eventually learn to love it, despite the first taste often being compared to a barrel of piss.
While the EPC seems like a good idea in theory (I’ll give them that), there’s a lot to be said about it’s lack in practicality. It’s really difficult to put a monitory value on a property that gets given a Grade on energy efficiency. If you aren’t aware, that’s generally what the EPC does- grades the property from A to G (‘A’ being the super best, just like in school) in energy efficiency.
The only saving grace- if you can call it that- is that they remain valid for 10 years and they don’t cost an arm and a leg. Don’t get me wrong, it’s money down the drain, but relatively speaking I.e. compared to all the other non-nonsensical and scandalous financial-hoops we’re made to jump through), it’s not that much money.
How much do they cost?
Before getting my first EPC I wasn’t entirely sure how much I was expected to pay for one. I’ve heard people mutter prices that range between £60-£100. A local letting agent quoted me £80. You know when a letting agent quotes you a price, you can probably get the same bloody thing at least 30% cheaper from somewhere else.
That said, I had a little look around on the world wide web, and the cheapest I managed to find was £39.99. That’s almost half the price I was quoted by the agent. I called it.
The EPC company operates in Essex (I’m not affiliated with the company. And fair warning, their website looks like bubbling shit), but I’m sure they’ll be similar prices around the country. I think £40 is a pretty good deal.
From what I found, most other companies are charging between £65-85. The majority was hitting the £70 mark. So I guess the general rules of consumerism applies- shop around.
Has anyone been able to beat £39.99 for a EPC?
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger, I am not qualified to give legal advice. Any advice I give is my opinion based on my experience. I will always recommend you seek legal or professional advice on any legal matters!