What is an EPC? 

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) give information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Any building which is constructed, sold or rented requires an EPC. 

EPCs contain:

  • information on your home's energy use and carbon dioxide emissions
a recommendation report with suggestions to reduce energy use and carbon dioxide emissions

Energy use and carbon dioxide emissions

EPCs carry ratings that compare the current energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions with potential figures that your property could achieve. 

The rating measures the energy and carbon emission efficiency of your home using a grade from ‘A’ to ‘G’. An ‘A’ rating is the most efficient, while ‘G’ is the least efficient. These ratings are calculated by comparing the actual building with a reference building which meets the Target Emissions Requirement. A rating of B or above means your building performs as well as or better than the reference building, a rating of C or below means your building performs worse than the reference building.  

Potential figures are calculated by estimating what the energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions would be if recommended energy saving measures were put in place.

All buildings are measured using the same calculations, so you can compare the energy efficiency of different properties.

The recommendations report

EPCs also provide a detailed recommendations report showing what you could do to help reduce the amount of energy you use and your associated carbon dioxide emissions. The report lists:

  • suggested improvements, like putting in energy saving light bulbs
  • possible cost savings per year, if the improvements are made
  • how the recommendations would change the energy and carbon emission rating of the property

You don’t have to act on the recommendations in the report. However, if you decide to do so, it could make your property more attractive for sale or rent by making it more energy efficient.

When do I need an EPC? 

An EPC is required for a building whenever it is constructed, sold or let. For the purposes of the regulations, a building is defined as:

“a roofed construction having walls, for which energy is used to condition the indoor climate, and a reference to a building includes a reference to a part of a building which has been designed or altered to be used separately”.

Environment (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2012

For a building to fall within the requirement for an EPC it must:

  • have a roof and walls; and
  • use energy to condition the indoor climate. This is the case where the building has any of the following fixed services: heating, mechanical ventilation or air conditioning. Although the provision of hot water is a fixed building service, it does not “condition the indoor environment” and would not therefore be a trigger for an EPC. The same argument applies to electric lighting. Where a building is expected to have heating, mechanical ventilation or air conditioning installed, it will require an EPC based on the assumed fit out.

A building can either be:

  • the whole of a building; or
  • part of a building, where the part is designed or altered to be used separately.

A car park, for example, open at the sides with lighting, would not constitute a building for the purposes of requiring an EPC.


The following buildings do not need an EPC when they are built, rented or sold:

  • places of worship
  • temporary buildings that will be used for less than two years
  • stand alone buildings with total useful floor area of less than 50 square metres that aren’t used to provide living accommodation for a single household
  • industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don't use a lot of energy

If you are thinking of buying, selling or renting a property you should check whether the building requires an EPC.

By law, an EPC is required in the following cases:

Buying a property

All sellers of properties need to ensure that they provide an EPC, free of charge to potential buyers.

Buying a newly built property

Buyers of newly built properties should receive an EPC, free of charge.

Renting a property

If you are interested in renting a property, the landlord must make an EPC available to you free of charge.

If you are not in one of the above categories

Even if you don’t fall into the above categories, you can still apply for and receive an EPC from an energy assessor. This may be because you want to know how energy efficient your home is, and make improvements suggested by the recommendation report.

Predictive Energy Assessments - For Developers/Contractors

If you are looking to develop a new build, a conversion or the extension of premises you will need to submit a Predictive Energy Assessment at the same time as your planning/building application. This is simply the SBEM-GI calculation for your building design in order to demonstrate that the proposed building will meet the minimum energy performance standards.

How do I get an EPC? 

A list of government accredited energy assessors who are qualified to carry out an energy assessment of your property and produce an Energy Performance Certificate can be found here.

Air Conditioning & Boiler Inspections 

The Department of the Environment has established a program for the inspection of boilers fired by non-renewable liquid or solid fuel of an effective rated output of 20 kW to 100kW.

Such boilers will be inspected by accredited independent experts a minimum of every two years. The inspector will provide advice to the users on the replacement of the boilers, other modifications to the heating system and on alternative solutions.

With regards to air conditioning systems, any such system with an effective rated output of 12kW or more will be subject to an inspection by an accredited independent expert a minimum of every 5 years. The inspector will provide appropriate advice to users on possible improvement or replacement of the air-conditioning system and on alternative solutions.

A list of accredited independent experts can be found here.