The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2002/91/EC (EPBD) was passed into law by the European Parliament in December 2002 and adopted by the 25 Member States, including the UK, in January 2003.
The main aim of the Directive is to promote the improvement of energy performance of buildings and it is left to each member state to develop a framework for energy performance calculation.
The aim is to achieve a 22% reduction in consumption by 2010.
The EPC tells you, in a diagrammatic form, the energy band into which your house falls on a scale of A to G, (A - very good, costs less than average to heat; G - very poor, costs more to heat).
Any existing house on sale after 30th June 2008 should have an EPC. The EPC should be available to you when you make an enquiry about the house.
It is the responsibility of the person who is selling the house to provide this certificate.
When you buy a house your solicitor should receive the EPC with other legal documents from the seller's solicitor.
If you are newly renting a home from 30th December 2008 the EPC for the property should be available to you as soon as you express an interest in it.
It is the responsibility of the Landlord who is offering the property for rental to provide the EPC. EPCs are valid for 10 years.
What do you do if an EPC is not made available when you buy or rent a house?
Vendors and landlords are legally obliged to make available an EPC at the time of purchase or rental.
There are regulatory powers to fine those persons who fail to provide an EPC. The fine is £200 for each complaint.
EPCs apply to: