Many of our clients have been confused by the changes to the way EPCs are issued over the last few months. In this blog, we are going to explain some of these changes so you know what this means for you and your EPC.
New Look to the Register
With the latest update, the EPC Register has undergone a big change in the last few months. The register now has a new, more basic look in keeping with other government portals. It does make it quite easy to find a certificate, with clear instructions on how to find the EPC you need.
The EPC looks different
The other comment we get from clients is that the EPC looks different to the old format. This is also something that has changed in the latest update. The EPC is now completely online, with just the link to the webpage for the certificate meant to be shared, but we are still able to create a pdf for you from the site. This is not a legal requirement however, and your solicitor and agent should be able to get to the EPC via the web page.
No More Environmental Impact Rating
In the past there were 4 different figures with letter ratings attached – the EPC rating and potential EPC rating on the first page, along with an actual and potential Environmental Impact Rating. This was deemed to be too confusing for most consumers and the latter has now been removed from all future certificates. This is more of an issue for administrators, who often use these figures. Unfortunately these will no longer be provided.
No More Draft EPCs
For the past 12 years, it has been possible to create a draft EPC so that the client can check and query anything prior to the final certificate being issued. This is great for the client because they get to make sure they are happy with everything before the certificate is finalised. Its also great for us because it ensures we don’t have to relodge the certificate at a later time, at cost.
However, in the latest update, the functionality that allows us to generate the draft EPC has been removed for domestic properties. This is very frustrating, but unfortunately out of our hands. The situation is the same across the whole industry. In order to reduce the amount of re-lodgements and frustration, we currently inform you of the rating before we issue the certificate, but cannot provide more information than that. So we can at least let you know if the EPC will attain the rating you need.
These changes also apply to the non-domestic, or commercial EPC certificates. We are still able to provide drafts for these however, due to a quirk in the EPC software.
What the Changes mean for you
Although there have been changes to the way the EPCs are created and provided to clients, the calculation methodology has not changed significantly. EPCs produced previously are still valid and will continue to be valid until their expiry date. The changes are mostly in how the EPC is to be shared, and the layout and format of the certificate.
Whilst the changes to the EPC do show some improvements over the previous system, we, along with our accreditation body, feel that these changes are a bad move and will negatively impact the industry and mean less clarity for the consumer. We have to work with the system provided to us by the government however, and will therefore do our best to provide the same high level of service.
If you would like more information about interpreting your EPC, or you have concerns that your property may not achieve the rating you want, we encourage you to contact us.