Energy Performance Certificates in Belfast. 5 Questions & Answers
You are going to need an Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC, when selling a home in Northern Ireland. It is also a requirement if you are a landlord, and for most types of property, whether in Belfast or elsewhere in Northern Ireland.
Before you contact a domestic energy assessor in Belfast, you may have some concerns. We answer some of the most frequent questions about the EPC.
How Much Do EPCs Cost?
The price will typically range from £70 to £100 in Belfast, depending largely on the type and size of the property. Other factors, such as local area and market conditions, can influence how much you have to spend.
How Long Does an Energy Assessment Take?
The assessor will need to access every room of the house, so the larger the building, the more time it will take. Expect an assessment for a 3-bed semi to take up to an hour. More complicated buildings, with more rooms or non-standard layouts like offices or industrial buildings, can take longer to assess.
Is a New EPC Needed Every Time a Home is Sold or Rented?
Certificates remain valid for 10 years. The home doesn’t need to be reassessed if it has been less than 10 years since the last certificate was issued. If you have made some improvements to the home, which could have improved its energy efficiency, it could be worth having a new assessment. An improved EPC rating could add value to the home.
What Do Low Ratings Mean for My Home?
In most cases, a low rating doesn’t mean that your home has failed the assessment, it just means that things can be done to improve energy efficiency. If you are selling a home it can potentially put off buyers.
If you are a landlord, renting out rooms of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), there can be problems with a low rating. If your HMO is given an EPC rating of less than 39, you have to make improvements to the property. If the HMO is rated 39 or above, you will be able to apply for a license with Belfast City Council or appropriate local authority.
As a landlord renting out a property with isn’t an HMO, you don’t need to worry about low ratings in the same way. You may still want to make improvements to make the home more attractive to renters, but there is no regulatory requirement.
Does Every Property Need an EPC?
An EPC is necessary when selling or renting out the home. Exceptions include when the new owner is going to demolish the building, and for temporary structures which will be used for less than 2 years. Workshops or agricultural structures of low energy use, buildings of less than 50 square metres, and those used for religious gatherings are also exempt.
You can locate a local assessor through the Northern Ireland Domestic Energy Performance Certificate Register or the non-domestic version for commercial property.