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Energy Performance Certificates for holiday lets - holiday home exterior

According to the UK government, the energy we use for heating, lighting and power in our homes produces over a quarter of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions. In an aim to reduce the impact we have on the planet and contribute to a sustainable future, it is a legal requirement for a property (for sale or sold) to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), in order to clearly identify the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a property.

Energy Performance Certificates for holiday lets - holiday home exterior

Read everything you need to know about Energy performance certificates for holiday lets, your legal obligation and how to promote greener energy consumption in your home in this helpful guide. If you’d like to find out about a particular topic, use the quick links below:

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that is produced following a report on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a property. The certificate provided clearly highlights an overview of the energy performance of a property in a colour-coded band system; band ‘A’ being the most efficient and band ‘G’ being the least.

The intention of an Energy Performance Certificate is to inform home owners and potential buyers of the following:

  • How much a building or property will cost to heat and light
  • What the carbon dioxide emissions of a property are likely to be
  • Recommendations on ways to improve energy efficiency, in order to save money and help the environment

Energy Performance Certificates for holiday lets - Energy Efficiency Rating chart from the GOV website image

* Example from Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) –

How is an EPC calculated?

Energy Performance Certificates for holiday lets - holiday home exterior

In order to calculate the energy efficiency band of a property, a qualified EPC assessor will need to determine a number of elements to better understand how energy is used in the home. These include the following:

  • Type of property and whether it is detached or not
  • Age of the building
  • Materials used to construct the building
  • Floor construction
  • Property dimensions and number of floors
  • The number of habitable rooms
  • Roof construction, pitch and insulation
  • Amount and type of glazing
  • Lighting system
  • Main heating system, type of fuel and controls
  • Wall thicknesses and insulation

Each segment of an inspection will be given a score depending on how efficient it is and what condition it is in. The assessor will then calculate how energy efficient the property is and will provide an EPC rating.

The assessment will be based on examining four key factors:

  1. The property’s energy efficiency rating and impact on the environment
  2. An estimated energy cost
  3. Summary of a property’s energy performance related features
  4. Recommendations of improvements and alternative measures to increase energy efficiency

Once the entire property has been surveyed, the EPC band will be calculated. This provides a rating and also provides useful information on what can be changed in your property to further improve your EPC rating and help in the fight against climate change.

There is no clear-cut answer as to whether you will legally need an EPC for your holiday let, however the government guidance advises you may need an EPC if:

  • Your property qualifies as a Furnished Holiday Let
  • Is available for short term rentals of less than 31 days per let
  • Is occupied for over a combined total of at least four months in a single year

However, further guidance states that even if all the conditions of a furnished holiday let are met, if the occupier is not responsible for meeting the energy costs for the property, an EPC is not necessary. In general, most holiday let owners are responsible for paying the energy bills, which then excludes them from needing an EPC for the property.

The guidance can be interpreted differently and also contains various exclusions, so it is advised that you read the full government’s guide to energy performance certificates for the marketing, sale and let of dwellings, as well as contacting your local standards authority office for further clarification.

Do I need an EPC to sell my holiday let property?

Yes, you will need an EPC to sell your holiday let. By law, all properties that are built, sold or rented out require an EPC. In order to sell your holiday let, you must provide an EPC free of charge to the prospective buyer.

Where can I find my holiday home’s EPC?

Energy Performance Certificates for holiday lets - holiday home exterior

If your holiday home has been bought or sold, or rented out at any point over the past 10 years, then there should be a record of your holiday home’s Energy Performance Certificate on the national EPC register. Enter your postcode and you should be able to find your property, the EPC and any energy performance recommendations.

My holiday let is listed – do I still need an EPC?

There are some instances where a property does not legally require an EPC because it qualifies for an exemption. Since January 2013, listed buildings that require potentially character-changing alterations, in order to increase the energy performance of the building, have not been required to obtain the certificate. You should get advice from your local conservation authority as to whether you need an EPC, and if any of the work would potentially alter the building’s structure.

How much does an Energy Performance Certificate cost?

Energy Performance Certificates for holiday lets - Grade II listed holiday home

An EPC must be produced following an energy assessment undertaken by a qualified assessor, accredited by AAA Energy Assessors Ltd. The inspection takes approximately 1-2 hours and depending on the size and location of your property, it is likely to cost up to £120. Click here to find accredited energy assessor.

How long is my EPC valid for?

An EPC certificate is valid for 10 years and can be reused as many times as needed within that period. A new certificate is not required each time there is a change of tenancy or the property is sold, provided it is no more than 10 years old.

Benefits of having an EPC for your holiday home

Whether or not it is legally required to have an EPC rating of your existing holiday let, the benefits of having one are clear.

  • Save money: Having an EPC report for your holiday let is likely to provide you with ideas of how you can make your property more energy efficient and potentially lower your energy bills.

Energy Performance Certificates for holiday lets - Estimated energy costs of dwelling chart

* Example from Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) –

  • Help save the planet: The average energy efficiency rating for a dwelling in England and Wales is band D (rating 60) which means an average household produces an estimated 6 tons of CO2 a year. By making the recommended changes identified on the EPC, you could reduce your property’s CO2 emissions by a significant amount each year. You could reduce emissions even more by switching to renewable energy sources, all of which will help to protect the environment by lowering the negative impact of your property.
  • Great selling point: Improving energy efficiency will not only contribute to a sustainable future and save you money, but can add to the marketability of your holiday let. VisitEngland reported that 58% of people would prefer to stay in a cottage which runs sustainable and eco-friendly practices, while the Sykes Cottages Staycation Index revealed that 20% of people wanted to book more sustainable holidays in 2019.

How to improve your home’s energy efficiency rating and reduce its environmental impact

There are a number of ways in which you can improve the energy efficiency of your holiday let, thereby reducing its environmental impact. As part of the EPC assessment, you’ll be provided with recommended measures specific to your home. You’ll also be given an indicative cost of what the improvements might cost, as well as what the changes could help you save in value.

Energy Performance Certificates for holiday lets - recommended measures

* Example from Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) –

Recommendations from your EPC could include:

  • Double glazing: Improving and upgrading windows and doors to prevent heat loss.
  • Loft insulation: Increasing loft insulation to a minimum of 270mm can be relatively inexpensive, easy to install and highly effective in increasing energy efficiency.
  • Wall insulation:  Whether your home has cavity or solid walls, insulating them can improve your EPC rating.
  • Replace your boiler: A new condensing, energy efficient boiler can drastically reduce energy bills.
  • Low energy lighting: A quick and simple change is to install more efficient light bulbs. Energy saving LED’s can use up to 75% less energy!

Find out more on improving your holiday home’s energy performance and impact on the environment in our blog how to make your holiday home eco-friendlier and more sustainable, or use the Energy Efficiency Calculator for personalised advice on what you can do to cut your energy bills.

If you would like more advice on how to start a holiday let business, whether a holiday let is a good investment or what the holiday let rules and regulations are, contact our locally-based team who will be able to help. Alternatively, click here to download our free Owners Guide.