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What to do if you think your Energy Performance Certificate is incorrect?

There are several circumstances within which you might think your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is wrong. You may have moved into a new home and found that you use much more energy than the EPC implied. These circumstances can be frustrating and you may want to seek out ways to complain. It is important that you don’t react quickly and look at all your options.

This blog looks into what the EPC’s role is and the steps you can take to complain about your EPC.

What is the EPC?

The role of the EPC is to give you, the homeowner or buyer and idea of the cost of running the heating, hot water and lighting in your property. If you or the previous owner of your property has given incorrect information regarding the heating then the EPC will obviously be incorrect. If you have just moved into a new home and your first bill is significantly larger than you EPC suggests, even after taking into consideration the fuel price increase since the EPC was issued, then your EPC may be inaccurate.

Who do you turn to?

If you think there is an error with your EPC then there are two agencies you can contact who should take responsibility for the error. The first is the domestic energy assessor who issued the certificate and then the second is the accreditation scheme the assessor is licensed by.

Who should I contact first?

Contact the assessor first. You can find the details of the assessor on the EPC itself and you can ask them to re-assess your home based on the concerns you have. Your concerns may be that they recorded the wrong appliance on the EPC or that they didn’t take into account another factor. Your energy assessor should take responsibility for the error however if you don’t get a satisfactory response then you can appeal to their accreditation scheme that should also be on the EPC.

Contacting the Estate Agent

If you have just bought your home and you feel like it was advertised incorrectly then you might want to contact your estate agents to complain. You will be in a particularly good position if you still have a copy of the original advertisement for the property that has incorrect information about the home and its heating. You should complain in writing first to the agent explaining your situation and their role in the miscommunication. If you don’t get a satisfactory response to that then you should pass your information on to the property ombudsman. The property ombudsman will be able to censure agents and offer you a financial reward if you can prove you have suffered a financial loss as a result of the estate agents actions. Even though the amount you will get is usually not as much as you would hope, you may be able to get enough to help towards high-energy bills or new insulation.

If you want to take it further:

There are two other agencies that you can appeal to if your agent is registered with them. They are the RICS agency or the National Association of Estate Agents. Both of these agencies have a complaints procedure and the power to discipline estate agents who are acting inappropriately.

Additional options:

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of complaining, as the above procedures can take a long time sometimes longer than 8 weeks, you can decide to fix the issues you are having with your home. You can look into the options available under the new Renewable Heat Incentive program where the government will issue you with payments to install a renewable appliance in your home. You can add additional insulation in your loft or wall cavity. You can deal with draughts in your home by doing a number or draught-proofing changes in your home. You can install solar panels to help generate your own electricity. There are many options available to you.

Have you had any concerns for your EPC in your new home or existing home? What did you do to solve the problem? Do you have any extra advice for those going through the same problems?

23 Comments to What to do if you think your Energy Performance Certificate is incorrect?

  1. November 4, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    As a company we produce in the region of 10,000 EPCs each year. Thankfully the proportion of defective EPCs we see is less than 0.5%.

    We do however often field enquiries from Householders whose EPC rating has not met their expectation. This can arise when significant amounts of money have been spent on renewable technologies which in some cases show a minimal uplift in rating. Air Source Heat Pumps and Biomass Boilers would be two examples of this.

    The forthcoming changes to RdSAP should address some of the issues where specific technology or combinations of such cannot be recorded at present. Each RdSAP update undoubtedly makes for more accurate EPCs

  2. November 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    This article is accurate as far as the advice for complaining goes, but it needs to be made clear that an EPC is not a guide to how much your energy bills will be. The heat demand estimates on a domestic EPC don’t cover everything on your bill, and are only a generalised, software-generated guide to how much it may cost to heat your home – and there has been recent controversy about these estimates. Your overall energy bill will be higher than the heat demand estimates anyway, and your heating energy use could be higher or lower than the estimates seem to suggest.
    If your EPC says that you have electric heating when it’s all gas you should certainly make a complaint (providing the system hasn’t been changed since the EPC was done) but finding that your energy bill is appreciably higher than the EPC suggests does not nevessarily mean that the energy assessor has got it wrong.
    Terry Wardle
    Ecitor, Energy Assessor Magazine

  3. November 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Chris, don’t know how you can be sure only 0.5% are inaccurate, do you visit after the DEA has been?

    I am a qualified DEA who is also a surveyor and I always check the EPC when I carry out a survey for a buyer. Sadly I find errors on the vast majority of the EPCs I check, certainly well over 75%. Admittedly some are minor, but the most common is mismeasurement.

  4. David Stewart's Gravatar David Stewart
    March 18, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    I have just had an EPC. The assessor incorrectly assumed that there was no insulation in the loft space. He claimed that he wasn’t insured to go there. How can you make an assessment without looking at something as fundamental as loft insulation?!

  5. John Wells's Gravatar John Wells
    April 27, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I have just moved into a house built in 1989. The epc states that it does not have underfloor insulation (it does) and that cavity wall,as built, insulated (assumed) . It does NOT have C/W insulation.
    I have contacted both the surveyor and his Acc. sc. and they refuse to change the certificate stating that :- their software is gov. approved, award winning , so therefore their certificate is correct !!!!

    • Patrick's Gravatar Patrick
      April 4, 2022 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Hi John
      May I ask, did anything come of this? I have a flat with ‘deemed’ cavity wall insulation, according to the energy assessor, whereas in reality it doesn’t. Wondering how to challenge it. The flat is leasehold, one of 4 in a block, so I’m not able/allowed to get the walls insulated without going through a process of proving first that there is an issue. At least, that’s how I see things.

  6. Phil Gain's Gravatar Phil Gain
    October 28, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I have an EPC for house I have purchased which is incorrect in that it states that there is cavity wall insulation and there is not. It also stated that there was a room in the roof which there is not. As a result I cannot get a grant for either of these.

    • Patrick's Gravatar Patrick
      April 4, 2022 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Phil
      May I ask, did anything come of this? I have a flat with ‘deemed’ cavity wall insulation, according to the energy assessor, whereas in reality it doesn’t. Wondering how to challenge it. The flat is leasehold, one of 4 in a block, so I’m not able/allowed to get the walls insulated without going through a process of proving first that there is an issue. At least, that’s how I see things.

  7. Sam O's Gravatar Sam O
    May 11, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I bought a house where the EPC was good, suggesting only improvements would be a new boiler and solar panels. It said brick cavity insulated walls ‘assumed’. This was true of the ground floor, but it later transpired that the entire first floor of the house was constructed of only plasterboard on a timber frame, with no insulation at all, so guess where all the heat went! The house is freezing. I also had a Homebuyer Survey Report carried out at the time which didn’t notice this as the view was ‘obstructed’ in both the loft and storage eaves. After complaining to the RICS surveyor they said it was not there job to check this and the EPC company was to blame.

  8. Amanda Huddleston's Gravatar Amanda Huddleston
    November 11, 2016 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    The EPC on the property we are buying states it is 35m2 when it is 68m2
    Major error. How do I get it rectified? Assessor not replying to emails (as completed in 2009)

  9. Malcolm R's Gravatar Malcolm R
    March 8, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I was buying a property
    EPC gave

    A. 4 stars for gas boiler with rads, boiler 21 years old, turns out that it’s, 65% efficiency, off bottom of EU efficiency scale

    B. 4 stars for insulation in loft room,assumed. There was non, you could walk into loft storage area, floorboarded, and see no insulation.

    C. 1 star for hot water provided by electric immersion heater. But there is a gas boiler. Vendor says there is a gas boiler.

    7 weeks for company to review and reissue certificate.

    Mentioned that C. (Above) seemed strange to the Estate Agent. Said we will have to get it changed. 11 weeks later it’s not done.

    Is there legal liability on anyone for losses incurred for conveyencing, property survey etc in such a situation? There are 3 properties in the chain. Is there any case law? Would a trading standards body help me to generate a legal case?

    immersion heater

  10. Nick Gough's Gravatar Nick Gough
    May 13, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I have just had an EPC and the assessor never asked for proof of my current energy consumption but stated on the certificate what my consumption is estimated. The error is further compounded by then suggesting minor improvements from which it states that savings of over %50 could be made on my actual energy consumption!
    This EPC appears to be based on estimates and assumptions that are legitimised by gov. approved software. Unnaceptable

  11. terrie Marshall's Gravatar terrie Marshall
    October 5, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    epc states ASSUMED no insulation in loft, I have just paip out to have loft conversion done with 100ml in eves rockwool in floor joists and rockwool in gable ends. Also all areas plasterboarded and plastered. Proof of type and density of insulation with invoices and builder confirmation, THis was refused as no evidence. Bore holes builder suggestion but assessor refused to attend, how can I prove that insulation is there .Any sugestions please.

  12. Rottidog's Gravatar Rottidog
    February 9, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    We bought a house that was F26 and when problems started to happen took a closer look at the EPC. Non-existent radiator valves – 4*, broken down double glazing – 4*, 6 x 4m non-thermally-separated conservatory with heating – not included. Went back to the assessor and he wouldn’t communicate so went to Stroma. Took 4 months to get an admission that it was wrong and get it removed from the register. The house went down to a G13 with the new calculations but then when they reassessed at their expense the new EPC showed that 65sq m had been missed on the original – over a third of the house! So in reality it was an even lower G score. Took out a claim against the assessor to try to recoup what we had to spend to get the house warm and after a total of 15 months have finally settled at a fraction of the claim. The problem with the EPC is that although it is a legally required document there is no redress when it is wrong and apparently nobody is accountable.

  13. March 23, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I’m a home owner who has just commissioned an EPC and am now faced with gaining an EPC that does not provide a true picture of my property. The reason for this is the unrealistic expectations placed on the examiner to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the insulation is as the householder states. In my case the sceilings have been overboarded with 75mm of celotex insulation and underfloor heating laid in all rooms over 75mm of celotex. I have photos of work in progress but because these do not show at least 50% of the insulated area the assessor will not take them into account, even though it can be seen in the photos that the finished levels of oversite, concrete and screed allow for 75mm of celotex and the sceilings are now well over 100mm thicker than the joists (and the photos show the unplastered overboarding and in one place the celotex actually being overboarde).

    To my mind this smacks of jobs-worth and assessors who are constrained by rule such that they are not allowed to use their own judgement and common sense.

    The result is that EPCs for many properties that have had remedial work must be misleading and not representative of the property being assessed.

  14. David Lexden's Gravatar David Lexden
    April 24, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I have just had an EPC assessment and it became clear that the assessor hadn’t looked at the RdSAP December 17 changes. Moreover, he had never seen a zoned house (Honeywell Evohome) so having not seen a 2nd thermostat, he just ignored zoning. We then had a discussion about boiler settings and Opentherm control, and I might have been talking to myself. This assessment process is just a complete joke: garbage in – garbage out.

    He even called me the following day to confirm that my property is timber frame? It is brick and breeze block with cavity insulation. He told me that he has been doing EPCs for ten years.

  15. AL's Gravatar AL
    September 28, 2021 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I always new this EPC malarkey was a load of rubbish but reading through these comments you guys have absolutely proved this.

    Just looked at my own EPC and noticed that the floor area is massively incorrect at 419 square meters! I think the numbers were transposed as 149 square meters is about right.

    This means that the “Estimated energy used to heat this property”, “Space Heating” element calculates out to be a whopping 45382 kWh per year!
    (should be closer to 15kWh).
    What’s worse is that this figure is what the government use when calculating your Renewable Heat Incentive payment values!

    What a joke.

  16. Philip Wagstaff's Gravatar Philip Wagstaff
    October 24, 2021 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    We’ve owned our new built C (80) house from new and added solar panels and floor insulation to the integral garage. Rerated this week and it is still a C but has lost 5 points, and is now only 75. How is this possible? Can ask for it to be reassessed but who’s paying for this and where to appeal if it comes up the same or worse?

  17. Andrew Carmichael's Gravatar Andrew Carmichael
    November 3, 2021 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The EPC system is not just garbage its systematically corrupt. My assessor seems to be asking me for more money to enter data that will improve my rating. The accreditation agencies have no interest whatsoever in following this up. Stroma even admit to routinely registering epc engineers under false names.
    We now have landlords assessing their own property so its not surprising that tennants are claiming that their assessments have no bearing on what they end paying for fuel.

    The science behind RdSAP is also deeply flawed and the scheme is rapidly losing all credibility within the property market and building profession.

  18. Peter King's Gravatar Peter King
    November 10, 2021 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I own a tenanted property and have been looking at EPCs for neighbouring properties in view of this governments demand for C grade for all private leggings by 2025.
    The property is in a row of identical very small Victorian two up two down, all built at the same time. The next door EPC shows the property as built with cavity walls, when clearly this is not possible. How can an accessor make such a basic mistake??

  19. Marjan's Gravatar Marjan
    January 11, 2022 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Dear All.
    I have had an EPC assessor doing an EPC certificate, I have paid for it this happen 2 years ago. Now that I need it the assessor is refusing to lodge the certificate on line as he say it’s more then 6 months old.
    Is there any body that controls their work as he has need paid to carry out the survey and lodge the results on line.

  20. Gilly-Tamar K Denham's Gravatar Gilly-Tamar K Denham
    August 21, 2022 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I had an epc on my home last week. Despite new windows and more efficient heating fitted in 2017 and 2014 respectively and telling him this he still gave me a lower grade than I feel I should have had. He was insisting I should have wall insulation or in room roof insulation when I live in a flat in a listed building with cruck beams on the ceiling and timbers running through the walls. I can’t have double glazing as I live in grade two listed building and in a conservation area. I asked a builder about insulation plaster board on my ceiling and told it would be a big job well over the price cap and my assessor said he was wrong. I disagree with the whole epc system because they assume the rating in energy used and I know I don’t use nearly half the energy it claims, can’t afford to for starters

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