Much like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is with a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They identify the running costs of a building and what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.
For large, public buildings occupied by public authorities or institutions providing a public service to a large number of persons and therefore frequently visited by those persons.
The EPC will also state what the energy efficiency rating could be if improvements are made, and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating. Even if you rent your home, some improvements noted on the EPC might be worth your while - such as switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs.
Once produced EPCs are valid for ten years.
If you're selling or renting out a domestic property or commercial building, you must get an approved Domestic Energy Assesor to produce the EPC. The EPC needs to be available to potential buyers as soon as you start to market your propoerty for sale or rent.
If you already own your home, the process of getting an EPC produced can help you identify ways to improve energy efficiency. As EPCs are valid for ten years, you will then have an accurate EPC if you decide to sell or rent within this period (unless you improve your home subsequently, in which case you may wish to get a fresh EPC done to include those improvements).
For a list of approved EPC organisations in England and Wales, visit the Landmark Website to view the energy performance certificate register.
For a list of approved EPC organisations in Northern Ireland go to the seperate Landmark Website for Northern Ireland.
For more information on EPCs in England and Wales, see the pages on EPC at the Directgov Website. For more information on EPCs in Northern Ireland, visit the NI direct website and see the Department of Finance and Personnel office's guide to EPCs for dwellings