Reducing climate change and our impact on the Earth are becoming increasingly critical topics. We’re all aware of ways we can do our bit to reduce what we use, but what about being more efficient with that which we do? One of the most widespread ways that energy efficiency can be increased is by targeting homes. Not only is this great for the environment, but can go a long way to helping to keep energy bills as low as possible.
EPC regulations were introduced by the UK government in 2007. An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a document that is produced following an assessment by a qualified EPC surveyor. They are part of the government’s push towards hitting the Net Zero Carbon targets and give homeowners and tenants knowledge of the energy efficiency of their property. Furthermore, EPC surveys give recommendations on how to improve the energy efficiency of a property. This is done by giving the property a rating between A and G (with band A-rated properties being the most energy efficient and band G-rated properties being the least).
At the moment, regulations related to the energy efficiency of a rented property stipulate that the rating must be of a band E or above. There is a requirement for an EPC to be provided when a property is sold, and also when new tenants move in.
What new regulations are being introduced?
The government are introducing a range of updates to the EPC regulations to step up its efforts in tackling climate change and rising energy bills. The regulations for rented properties are set to change in 2025, meaning a property’s energy efficiency rating must be a band C or higher. The new rules state that this will apply for all new tenancies after 1st April 2025, and for existing tenancies from 1st April 2028.
In addition to these changes, there will be an introduction of a private rented sector property compliance and exemptions database. This is a database that documents the private rented sector (PRS) properties that are exempt from this rule.
The fine for the breach of the EPC regulations (including not having a valid EPC) will also be raised to a maximum of £30,000 for each property (from a maximum of £5,000).
Lastly, the current cap on the investments that must be made by landlords to install energy efficiency measures of £3,500 is set to go up to £10,000. This means that landlords will be required to spend more on making their properties more energy efficient from 2025 – and this will disproportionately affect those with older, less energy efficient properties.
What does a Band C EPC rating include?
When an EPC is carried out, a list of recommendations is provided, outlining ways that the rating can be improved. Some of these measures include:
• Loft insulation
• Cavity wall insulation
• Floor insulation
• Updating boilers
• Double glazing
When potential landlords are looking to buy a property, they should look carefully at the EPC provided in the Homebuyer’s Pack. Landlords should weigh up the potential costs of getting the EPC rating up to a band C and ensure that this is factored into calculations. It’s generally accepted that the difference in energy bills between being in band A and band G is about £1,500 per year. This translates to about £200 per band, per year.