Government regulations concerning Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are changing. These new regulations mean that from April 2025 newly rented properties will need an EPC proving they meet a minimum standard of C. Currently the minimum rating is E.
The move aims to make homes more energy efficient, reduce carbon emissions and help the government reach its net-zero emissions target by 2050. It will also help tenants reduce their energy bills.
These new regulations will affect new tenancies from 2025 and existing tenancies from 2028.
Currently, failure to have a valid EPC risks a fine of up to £5,000 but from 2025 the potential fine will increase to £30,000.
So if you are a buy-to-let landlord, you should start planning now as you may need to carry out energy-saving improvements to your property.
An EPC is an assessment of the energy efficiency of a property. The most energy efficient properties are graded A, the least efficient are graded G.
Any property sold or rented in the UK is legally required to have an EPC. Each certificate is valid for 10 years.
EPC certificates were introduced in 2007 to demonstrate a property’s energy efficiency and new tenancies have been required to have a rating of E or above since 2020.
From 2025, new tenancies will be required to have an EPC rating of C or above.
You’ll need to find a Domestic Energy Assessor to carry out an Energy Assessment Survey. Expect to pay around £70 including VAT.
The assessor will conduct a survey of the property, looking at the exterior and interior to assess the building’s energy efficiency, create an EPC and give the property a rating, from A to G.
Areas covered by the EPC include roofs, walls and insulation, windows, boiler/heating system, renewable energy (such as solar panels), lighting, fireplaces and the age and size of the property.
Based on the assessor’s findings, the landlord may need to carry out remedial works to improve the energy efficiency of their property and ensure it attains a C rating - this could mean considerable investment.
Costs will clearly vary from property to property, but we estimate older properties may require improvements costing around £5,000 – the older the property the more work may be required.
Newer apartments in modern residential buildings should require less work.
There are many measures designed to improve the energy efficiency of a property, varying in cost.
Insulation: A lot of heat is lost from a home through poor insulation.
Wall insulation: Properties built since 1920 will probably have cavity walls (a gap between two walls) so insulation can be installed within the cavities. Homes built after 1990 will probably have cavity wall insulation already. If a property is over 100 years old, it will probably have solid walls and require a solid wall insulation system.
Roof and loft insulation: Most roofs can be insulated, providing a cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency. A minimum of 270mm of loft insulation is recommended.
Floor insulation: The ground floor of a property can lose up to 15% of a property’s heat so benefits from insulation. Floorboards can be insulated using rigid boards, spray foam insulation or mineral wool while solid floors can have a layer of rigid insulation laid on top.
Windows and doors: Double glazing makes windows more energy efficient, reducing drafts, energy bills and providing noise insulation. Options include double glazing, triple glazing and secondary glazing.
Pipe insulation: Hot water tanks and pipes lose a lot of heat if not insulated. Fit a cylinder jacket and insulate accessible hot water pipes to minimise heat loss.
Draught-proofing: Off-the-shelf draught proofing systems can be bought in any DIY store to prevent heat loss and draughts around doors and windows.
Lighting: Fit low energy LED light bulbs - these use around 90% less energy.
Smart thermostats: A smart thermostat allows a home’s heating system to be controlled more efficiently, minimising energy use.
Upgrade the boiler: If a boiler is old, consider investing in a new model to improve efficiency and performance.
It could take some time to implement the required energy-saving measures to ensure a property meets the required EPC C rating so we recommend making a plan now to ensure you meet the government’s deadline of April 2025.
If you use our property management services, we can arrange an assessor for you to provide a full report on your property and make appropriate recommendations. Learn more about our property management services here.
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