EPC rating meaning – What is an energy efficiency rating?

Aug 19, 2023 | Expert Advice, UK Energy News

– The article was updated on 29 September 2023

In today’s environmentally-conscious world, energy efficiency isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a necessity. For UK homeowners, this translates directly into the significance of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, a metric that has reshaped the property landscape.

The Relevance of EPC Ratings

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are pivotal tools in the UK’s drive towards energy efficiency. They provide a clear measure of a property’s energy performance, helping homeowners, buyers, and renters make informed decisions. This guide delves into the intricacies of EPC ratings, their significance, and how they can impact both your wallet and the environment.

woman holding energy performance certificate

What is an EPC Rating?

An energy efficiency rating is a measure provided by the Energy Performance Certificate. It gauges a property’s energy efficiency, offering insights into energy consumption, associated potential energy costs, and carbon dioxide emissions. Think of it as an ‘energy label’ for your home, similar to those found on appliances.

Why Every UK Homeowner Should Care About EPCs

Beyond the environmental implications, an EPC rating is legally mandated if you’re selling or renting out a property. Moreover, a favourable energy efficiency rating can elevate your property’s market value, making it a key consideration for potential buyers or tenants.

Decoding the EPC Rating Scale

EPC ratings range from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G the least:

  • A: 92 points plus
  • B: 81-91 points
  • C: 69-80 points
  • D: 55-68 points – Average rating for properties in England and Wales
  • E: 39-54 points
  • F: 21-38 points
  • G: 1- 20 points

A higher energy efficiency rating signifies better energy efficiency, translating to lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint.

energy performance certificate epc rating meaning

Benefits of a High EPC Rating

A high EPC rating isn’t just about compliance; it’s a testament to a property’s energy efficiency, which translates to lower energy bills. Energy-efficient homes are not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly, reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In the competitive real estate market, properties with better EPC ratings often have an edge, attracting buyers and renters who prioritize energy efficiency.

A high Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating showcases your home’s energy performance, leading to substantial savings. Here’s why:

Cost Efficiency

A top EPC rating ensures you save money by cutting potential energy bills. The estimated energy cost becomes more manageable, making your property economical.


Homes with superior Energy Performance Certificates attract environmentally-conscious buyers or tenants, enhancing property appeal.

Environmental Impact

Beyond personal savings, a high EPC rating contributes to reducing global carbon emissions, emphasizing your commitment to sustainability.

Practical Steps to Improve Your Property’s EPC Rating meaning

Boosting your home’s EPC rating D and lower isn’t just about short-term fixes. Consider:

  • Installing double glazing
  • Adding insulation in the loft or walls
  • Using low energy lighting
  • Upgrading to energy-efficient heating systems
  • Introducing renewable energy sources like solar panels

What is My Home’s EPC Rating meaning?

Not sure what your home’s EPC score is? No worries. You can find it on the EPC register, which stores all the Energy Performance Certificates issued in England and Wales. Simply enter your postcode to find your property’s EPC.

However, some properties might not have an EPC, particularly if they were built or sold before 2008 or fall under certain categories exempt from requiring an EPC, such as specific listed buildings and industrial sites.

Should you need an EPC for selling or renting out your property, you must engage an accredited domestic energy assessor. These professionals will evaluate your property’s energy efficiency, culminating in an Energy Performance Certificate, valid for a decade. This energy report certificate will display your property’s valid EPC rating and recommend improvements to enhance poor EPC rating.

It’s noteworthy that this service can be provided free of charge through schemes such as ECO4 scheme (learn more about Energy Company Obligation). If you qualify for the grant, an EPC evaluation needs to be performed before any home improvement and more efficiency recommended measures are installed in your home.

epc propertys energy performance

Getting an EPC Certificate

Obtaining Energy Performance Certificates is straightforward. You’ll need to hire an accredited domestic energy assessor who will evaluate your property and provide the certificate. This certificate remains valid for 10 years. If you’re unsure where to find an assessor, the EPC register is a good starting point, listing accredited professionals in your area.

To secure an EPC for your property:

  1. Engage an accredited domestic energy assessor.
  2. Allow them to evaluate your energy efficiency of your property.
  3. Receive your EPC, detailing your home’s energy rating and suggested improvements.
epc rating meaning description

EPC Surveys: What to Expect

During an EPC survey, assessors evaluate a property’s structural integrity and energy use, often lasting 1-2 hours. The energy report generated provides the property’s energy efficiency rating, detailing estimated costs for lighting, heating, and hot water which is a legal requirement. By checking the EPC register, one can get an EPC that highlights the estimated energy costs and suggests recommended measures for efficiency improvements. This certificate offers indicative costs and confirms a valid EPC rating.

EPC and Its Direct Impact on Energy Bills

A higher EPC rating indicates a property is energy-efficient, leading to reduced energy use and running costs. Such homes lose significantly less heat, offering potential savings on EPC costs. This rating reflects both the current and potential energy performance, with typical savings highlighting the property’s environmental performance.

Grasping the EPC rating meaning is pivotal for homeowners aiming for energy efficiency improvements. EPC ratings, valid for 10 years, not only indicate how much heat a property retains or its hot water efficiency but also its environmental impact. While the minimum EPC rating is a guideline, striving for a higher potential rating can significantly reduce energy consumption. However, it’s essential to note that certain listed buildings might have exemptions. Embracing a better EPC rating is a step towards a sustainable and cost-effective future.

Frequently Asked Questions about EPC rating meaning

What is an EPC?

An EPC, or property’s energy performance certificate, provides energy labels that indicate a property’s energy efficiency.

How can I get an EPC?

You can obtain your property’s EPC from the EPC register or by hiring a professional to assess your property.

What does an average EPC score indicate?

An average EPC rating, typically around ‘D’, provides insights into the property’s energy use, potential savings, and recommended measures for improvement.

How can I improve a poor EPC rating?

Improving a property’s insulation, including loft insulation, upgrading to a more efficient boiler, or integrating a renewable energy source like solar panels can enhance a poor EPC rating such as G, F or E rating. Some properties, like certain listed buildings, may have exemptions.

How does a good EPC rating influence heat retention?

Properties with a good EPC rating retain significantly more heat, ensuring better energy efficiency and comfort.
Article written by
Abbie Hall

Abbie Hall

Abbie is an ECO4 specialist helping homeowners to enhance their home’s energy efficiency using government funding. With her guidance, many have adopted sustainable living practices and reduced their energy bills.
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Find out if you qualify for the ECO4 scheme by starting your eligibility check below.

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