Home Improvement

All You Need To Know About EPC: Belfast, N.Ireland



What’s an EPC

EPCs or the Energy Performance Certificates are a means to rate a property based on its energy efficiency. Originating in August 2007 in England, the EPCs now cover almost all parts of European Union. Buildings are rated from A through G, with A denoting ‘very efficient’, while G is ‘inefficient’. The certification also includes cost-effective and workable solutions to improve the building’s EPC rating. 

Do I Need an EPC in Belfast

Whether you’re an owner or a builder, you’ll need to obtain an EPC for your property when planning to sell it or rent it out. All domestic as well as commercial property sellers or owners in Belfast are lawfully bound to have an EPC since 2008. 

It’s important to note that the Energy Performance Certificate is needed to be renewed periodically every 10 years or after you’ve carried out some renovation. While the certification is valid for 10 years, an addition or refurbishment of the building can affect its EPC rating. Therefore, you must renew the EPC, if you’ve carried out certain changes to your air-conditioner system or added some rooms etc. There’s a penalty of about £200 for not having a valid EPC for your property. 

How to Obtain EPC

Obtaining an EPC for your property in Belfast, Northern Ireland is quite simple. You can get it by contacting a government approved energy assessor. You could also take help of reliable agencies or real estate agents to get the EPC, who will charge extra for their services, but take care of all the hassles for you. Companies like epc4less provide Energy Performance Certificates in the Belfast area. 

What Data is Included in EPC and How to Understand it 

The EPC report comes with information about your property’s EPC rating, approximate running costs and a summary of features contributing to the energy rating. The report is generally covered in different sections for the ease of understanding. The major portions of the report are :- 

  1. A Multicolored Energy Efficiency Rating Chart.
    This not only gives out the rating from A through G with reducing efficiency standards, it also displays various parameters in a color coded chart. While ‘A’ rating signifies that your property is very well insulated and highly efficient in energy conservation, the ‘G’ rating implies that the building has solid walls and low insulation leading to heavy energy losses making it inefficient. 

If you’re an owner planning to rent/sell out your building to multiple tenants/buyers, your property is categorized as HMO (House of Multiple Occupation). You need to get an EPC rating of minimum ‘E’ to obtain approval as HMO. 

  1. Approximate Running Costs

The EPC report indicates an approximated cost of energy that your house requires per annum. Typically, in Belfast, this will depend on three main factors including hot water, heating and lighting requirements of your house. 

The report gives out an estimate of costs for carrying out improvement to your rating. It also indicates the likely savings that you can make by undertaking the suggested improvements. Some basic appliances like electric cookers, computers and TVs are excluded from the report. 


You must understand the importance of EPC and take timely action to avoid penalties. In order to improve the energy efficiency of your property, EPC is a useful tool. However, as a seller of the property, you’re not obliged to undertake actions to improve your property’s ratings; the report is only meant as an information for the buyer. 

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