Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

This guidance describes what Energy Performance Certificates are and why you need one. It also explains energy efficiency standards for private rented properties.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates the energy efficiency of your property. It also shows the environmental impact of it. The scale goes from A to G (where A is the most efficient and G the least efficient).

The certificate shows:

  • the property's current running costs for heating, hot water and lighting
  • a list of recommended energy saving improvements

Why you need an EPC

Private rented residential accommodation must have an EPC.

Shared houses where tenants have separate tenancy agreements do not need an EPC.

The law says you must have a valid EPC when marketing a property for letting. The EPC is valid for ten years, you do not need a new one for each new tenancy. If energy efficiency improvements have taken place, it is good practice to renew the EPC

Why your tenant needs an EPC

With high fuel prices, it is even more important for tenants to know the EPC rating before moving into a new home.

More energy efficient properties are warmer and can promote tenants’ health and wellbeing. They are cheaper to run which can promote longer tenancies and also reduce rent arrears. This situation creates a more stable rental income for the landlord.

How to get an EPC

To check if your property has a valid EPC, you can use the postcode search facility on the GOV.UK website.

An assessor will visit your property and will need to see evidence of any improvements made. Evidence can include building control completion certificates and installation conformity certificates. Date stamped photos can be evidence of wall or floor insultation.

The EPC will include recommendations for improving the property's energy efficiency.

Minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES)

Since 1 April 2020, all private rented properties need to have an EPC rating of A to E.

Properties with an EPC rating of F or G cannot be rented unless they have a statutory exemption.

This stops landlords letting the least energy efficient properties to tenants. It also helps to reduce carbon emissions through energy efficiency improvements.

More in-depth guidance on the energy efficiency standard (MEES) is on GOV.UK.


There are some statutory exemptions for private rented properties with an EPC rating of F or G. You can read guidance on PRS exemptions on GOV.UK.

The landlord (or their agent) must apply to be on the National PRS Exemptions Register.

To do this, you will need to:

  • tell them the reason for the exemption
  • provide evidence of why the exemption applies

Registering false or misleading information on the PRS Exemptions Register is an offence. It can result in a financial penalty.

To check if a property has a statutory exemption, you can search for exemptions on GOV.UK.

Rented properties that don’t meet the standard

Enforcement action is likely if a landlord rents out a property with an EPC rating of F or G without an exemption.

We are searching out private rented homes that breach the regulations, so don’t wait until it is too late. Take action today.

We can issue the landlord with a civil penalty of up to £5,000. The government are considering increasing the penalty to up to £30,000. This will make the financial risk much higher.

We don’t want to penalise landlords in this way. We would rather landlords invest to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

Please view our energy efficiency enforcement policy for more information.

Improving the energy performance of private rented homes

In 2020, the government consulted on plans to raise the EPC rating to C for all private rented homes.

They suggested a plan that would apply to new tenancies from 2025 and all tenancies from 2028. The high cost exemption would also increase from £3,500 to £10,000.

The government have not yet given their decision, but we want to make landlords aware so they can prepare. We encourage landlords to improve new rental properties or refurbish existing ones now.

By bringing each property up to an EPC rating of C, you will be providing your tenants with warmer homes. Reducing fuel consumption will also help to tackle the climate emergency.

Many Buy to Let mortgage lenders now offer special mortgage deals on properties with an EPC rating of A to C.

Ask your mortgage broker for details.

We recognise this will not be quick or easy to achieve. Landlords don’t always know where to turn for trustworthy advice. Below is some information that may help landlords make energy efficient improvements.

Loans for energy efficiency improvements

Lendology CIC is a community interest company. They have a landlord loan scheme that can help fund improvements. For further information and details of how to apply, visit the Lendology website.

Grants for energy efficiency measures

We are working with Bath and North East Somerset Council and Bristol City Council. We want to fund and install a wide range of energy saving measures to eligible households.

The scheme is part of the Bright Green Homes project. The aim is to lower energy use and contribute towards decarbonisation targets. Funding arrangements are subject to change. Please see the Energy Service Bristol website for more information.

Help and advice

Trustmark is a Government Endorsed Quality Scheme. They have produced a free guide to retrofitting your home. They also have a search tool to find a specialist retrofit coordinator in your area.

Contact a landlord association or speak to your letting or managing agent.