Energy performance certificates
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) show the energy performance rating of buildings. EPCs are required for newly constructed buildings or buildings advertised for sale or to rent.
The EPC provides an indication of the energy efficiency of the building using the energy usage (based on the type of construction, thermal insulation, heating system and lighting). This helps to enable comparison of the energy efficiency, carbon emissions and possible fuel costs of buildings of the same type for potential owners, buyer or tenant of a building.
A recommendation report is included with an EPC and provides recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of a building.
How long is the certificate valid for?
An EPC is valid for 10 years once registered on the Government's Landmark register.
If you carry out any major refurbishment or building work it may be beneficial to get a new certificate if the efficiency rating of your property improves.
Who needs an energy performance certificate?
Anyone who is selling, renting out or constructing a building will need an energy performance certificate for that property.
Estate or letting agents must also display the energy indicator on any materials they use to market a property for sale or rent.
You won't be required to produce an EPC if you are:
The following buildings are exempt and don't require an EPC:
- not selling or renting your property
- renting your property and both parties signed a contract before 30 December 2008
- selling your property and the buyer intends to demolish it.
- places of worship
- stand-alone buildings of less than 50 square metres (except for dwellings)
- temporary buildings.
Who is responsible for getting the certificate?
- if a building is being sold the owner of the property is responsible
- if a building is being rented the landlord of the property is responsible
- if a building is being constructed the builder is responsible.
The estate agent or letting agent is responsible for displaying the EPC information on all marketing materials as soon as the property is advertised for sale or rent.
How do I get an energy performance certificate?
You can only get an EPC from an accredited energy assessor.
The energy assessor will visit your property to complete the energy assessment.
Remember to ask for photographic identification before letting anyone into your property.
The energy assessor will record the EPC on the Northern Ireland register which is available at www.epbniregister.com (for domestic properties) and www.epbniregisternd.com (for non-domestic properties). They will then provide you with a copy of the certificate.
Finding an energy assessor
You can find an accredited energy assessor in your area at www.epbniregister.com (for domestic properties) and www.epbniregisternd.com (for non-domestic properties).
How much does an EPC cost?
The price of an EPC is determined by market demand. Costs will vary according to the size, type, complexity and location of the property.
Are there any penalties for non-compliance?
The penalty for failing to provide an EPC or failing to display an EPC indicator can vary. For further information check our guidance notes 1 and 2 (see next section).
We enforce the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (NI) and can investigate if an energy performance certificate is not shown to a prospective tenant or buyer.
If an EPC and an accompanying recommendation report have not been made available to you from the 'relevant person' (the owner, the landlord or the builder) we can pursue the matter on your behalf if you contact us with the details.
Offenders can be fined up to £200 (dwellings) and £500 - £5,000 (any other property).
For more information about penalties see our Enforcement policy page.
Further guidance about EPCs is available in our guidance document 1:
Further guidance about the duties of estate agents is available in our guidance document 2:
If you have any queries about energy performance certificates, please call us on 028 9027 0650 or freephone 0800 022 3004.