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Getting an EPC done

(11 Posts)
christinarossetti Mon 03-Feb-14 21:53:09

Just about to put house on the market and I understand that it's now compulsory to have an EPC done beforehand.

Did/will you do do this via the estate agent or privately and, if so, how?


Furball Tue 04-Feb-14 06:42:21

We did it independently - it was cheaper than the EA and put the postcode in here and it popped up with a list of ones local to us. Rang them and they came round within a few days - easy peasy but pointless IMHO

LtEveDallas Tue 04-Feb-14 06:52:28

My DH is a DEA. He does EPCs independantly and much cheaper than the estate agents. Use the Landmark register as above or google your 'hometown EPC'

Be careful of the 'sponsored' ads that come up though. Most of them are 3rd party agents who take a cut of the DEAs charges, so you might not get the best service.

You should aim to have one within 7 days of putting your house on the market - it's a bonus if you can provide the EA with one before you start.

They are pretty pointless, yes, but do give the buyers an idea of what they may have to replace (boiler etc) and if the house has cavity wall insulation/decent loft insulation (important for money saving on heating).

specialsubject Tue 04-Feb-14 13:18:07

shop around and get one as cheap as possible. It is only a silly computer model that tells the buyer very little apart from the area of the house and what kind of stuff is fitted.

the model tells you that for full efficiency, you need a wind turbine (in a house with a small garden) or a solar panel, and the calculations for the latter show that it will take about 200 years to pay off.

government idiocy at a very high level.

LtEveDallas Tue 04-Feb-14 13:41:49

Specialsubject, indeed the computer model automatically adds wind turbines, but a decent DEA will override that recommendation. That's why I wouldn't suggest going for the 'cheap as possible' method - not if you want a good service.

Solar/PV is actually a good idea for FTBers, or those going to their 'forever' homes as the cost of the panels and installation can be taken into account when applying for the mortgage - even if you use the most expensive company a 20-25 year repayment (less the FiT) is more usual. This then comes into its own at the point of retirement when you want as few bills as possible.

specialsubject Tue 04-Feb-14 14:05:55

interesting - I was looking at it as a buyer, every single one shows these ridiculous options. Imagine the reaction of the neighbours to a wind turbine in the garden of a semi or a detached!

I agree that solar should be feasible, but the figures show £3000 installation cost and a saving of £30 a year. What am I missing?

wonkylegs Tue 04-Feb-14 14:22:14

I actually design energy efficient/sustainable buildings for a living and spent many years studying and practicing building design..... I found the whole EPC part of buying a house, ridiculous, laughable and pointless.
Our EPC assessor thought he knew more than he did about buildings - I corrected him on many points and ended up biting my tongue at most of the ridiculousness that was spouted. He was a classic I've been on a short course so I know everything kinda guy.
Not one buyer/bidder on of our house was interested in it (we managed to sell so quickly the EPC ended up being completed the day after)
I saw many on houses we looked at that made completely improper suggestions - PV & Solar on orientations that have no chance of working properly, the infamous windturbines etc etc
All the terraces in our street & the Victorian semi we bought had suggestions of external insulation - ridiculous & pointless as they are all in conservation areas which wouldn't allow this.
The problem with EPCs is their generic nature which gives generic results. Most often these are given without even common sense filtering of these results which gives daft solutions.
I'd go with somebody who can do it cheaply & quickly, get it over and done with so you can get on with sorting out the bits that buyers are actually interested in.

LtEveDallas Tue 04-Feb-14 15:14:09

I think a lot of the problem is that when they first came in the courses were more intense, more expensive, gave better quals and better understanding. It was more 'niche' than it is now.

Plus CPD had to be done with recognisable quals etc so DEAs kept up with new initiatives and energy/cost savings measures. EPCs were supposed to be a part of the HIPS and would have added to it. Keeping them on once HIPS went devalued them.

When DH first started he charged �80-�100 for an EPC. It took a good hour in the house and 2 more on the system. The programme has changed beyond belief and many of the questions have disappeared. What used to take a couple of hours now takes half of that.

Courses are now a fifth of the cost and can be done completed within a month with no on the job experience and audit requirements are minor.

DH has had to drop his charges to compete with the 'national' companies that are offering EPCs for �35 and paying the DEA �17. People aren't taking the care they used to and the home buyer doesn't care what it says, they just want it cheap. So the DEA doesn't bother to use the addendums or take out the wind turbines and instead of blaming the buyer who just wants it cheap they blame the DEA for being crap - buy cheap buy twice as the old saying goes.

The 'idea' of them was sound, but they have been devalued by people that didn't understand or didn't care what they said. I think there is still a place for them, but only if they are completed properly.

Like I said before, the things to look at are the things you can change yourself - boiler, loft insulation, DG, secondary insulations etc. PV is a good idea if you can afford it - buying it outright means you will see savings almost immediately. We put it on my PILs home when the FiT was high (9 years ago) and she has a rebate every year that almost cancels out her heating bills smile. We will be doing the same to our 'forever' house this year.

Furball Tue 04-Feb-14 15:47:39

So the fact is, the purchaser can't really trust how good the quality of the survey is, so makes the whole thing more pointless.

Has anyone used it for any proper use? and has anyone used it as a bargaining tool when the survey results could be higher?

LtEveDallas Tue 04-Feb-14 16:17:20

So the fact is, the purchaser can't really trust how good the quality of the survey is, so makes the whole thing more pointless Unfortunately that is correct, that's why I suggest only really taking note of the 'obvious' points and changes you can easily make yourself - For eg lots of homes don't have ladders to the loft, so you can't check the insulation yourself, at least the EPC shows the depth of what is there.

We did use ours to bargain, but you probably won't believe me now! grin

The house we were buying was in good nick, but the DG was pre-2002 and the boiler was older and not energy efficient. We used that knowledge to bring down the price. If we are honest then we would have wanted to pay the price we did even if the EPC hadn't shown this up - but by putting a real cost to a real issue the vendor seemed more inclined to agree. We even said to her that we would pay her asking price but only if she replaced the boiler and the two blown windows. She took our offer and we will get the work done ourselves.

Furball Tue 04-Feb-14 21:28:28

thats good to know LtEveDallas

and I suppose when the proof is in black and white, they can't back down.

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