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21 Jul, 2023/ by Homeward Legal /Buyer, First Time Buyer, Sale & Purchase, Seller

Energy usage is significant topic of conversation at the moment.

The war in Ukraine, the Russian near-monopoly on gas supplies into Europe coupled with sanctions applied because of the war, and potentially increasing scarcity of sources of fossil-fuel energy have all contributed to the rising prices of electricity and gas for domestic use.

It is true that the Government have stepped in with applying price caps - although these are changeable according to circumstances - and providing one-off payments to assist with bill payments to avoid homeowners being cold, particularly in winter.

There are also programmes to install smart meters, which read the usage and send the information to the energy company, but also provides an up-to-the-minute read-out of how much gas and electricity are being used, allowing peak usage to be analysed and any remedial action taken (switching off appliances, timing dishwashers for overnight, and so on).

In parallel, the Government is also continuing its plans to invest in renewable energy, which, once operational, should be cleaner and cheaper.

Where do Energy Performance Certificates fit in?

But these plans are all very well from a macro point of view, and the governmental payments are reactionary, so where do Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) fit in? And why are they so important?

EPCs are a legal requirement if you are buying, selling or renting a property (although there are a few caveats to this, such as the residential status being less than four months in a year, listed buildings, and so on).

EPCs are categorised between a rating of A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and remain valid for ten years. The purpose is to show how much energy an owner of the home might be expected to use in order to heat it, and to make recommendations of where greater efficiencies could be applied, such as replacing external doors and windows to prevent draughts and heat leakage, insulation in the walls and loft, lagging pipes and so on.

If you are selling a property and your EPC has expired or doesn't exist, you need to get it (re-)assessed, and a good starting point is the government website.

From this, it can be seen what work might be required to increase the rating (and lower future energy usage and therefore bills).

Armed with this information and costings for any such work, a prospective buyer may be able to enter into discussions with the seller to compromise on the asking price to help with the remedial upgrades that are deemed essential.

As it's an essential document to be provided for the purchase/sale process, your conveyancing solicitor will ensure that a certificate exists and that it's up to date, advising you on any actions to be taken should any issues arise.

And that's where Homeward Legal comes in!

Homeward Legal will provide a quote that will not change - what you are quoted is what you pay (there are some unforeseen items that might arise during the purchase and/or sale, but the solicitor discusses these and their cost as they come up).

In addition, to protect the homebuyer further, Homeward Legal operates a “no completion, no fee” promise, which ensures that, should the purchase or sale not go through as planned to completion status, no payment is required.

Call to get your conveyancing quote started, or discuss you concerns with your plans to move.

Or you can get a quick quote, using Homeward Legal's easy-to-use quote generator quote generator.

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