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Changes to EPC regulations – what does it mean to you?

From Robert Ulph on June 29, 2015

Energy performance certificates (EPCs) have now been around for many years and since 1st October 2008, it has been a legal requirement for all properties in England and Wales with a new tenancy agreement to have an EPC in place. Having an EPC in place prior to viewings is to help tenants to make an informed decision whether they would like to view or take up the tenancy on the property.

The full reports are very interesting, if actually studied, but the content is usually ignored by most Landlords and tenants. The attitude towards these reports may change when the law is likely to change in April 2018 but we have recently seen tenants taking a bit more interest in the actual EPC rating even if they don’t actually request to see the full report.

Why look at the EPC now?

An EPC rating goes from ‘A’ being the most efficient to ‘G’ being the least efficient and the new law will state that potentially any property with a rating of E or above will not be able to be let out until its energy efficiency rating is improved.

Interestingly it also states that from 2016 tenants may be able to ask for lower efficient rated EPC properties to have energy saving measures put in place to improve these ratings. This has yet to be confirmed but is being proposed and being only next year it may be time to start considering your property’s current EPC rating and what to do to improve it if it’s on the lower side.

We would suggest at the time of a tenancy change that it is worth considering smaller changes such as switching to new energy saving light bulbs, looking at lagging any exposed pipework and putting an extra insulating layer on the hot water tank up to bigger projects such as boiler improvements.

There are Government schemes which offer incentives for private Landlords to help improve energy efficiency in the private rented housing stock which are definitely worth considering. Work includes wall and loft insulation and for older houses with solid walls, external insulation. You may qualify to have the work done for free and it is always worth enquiring about your own property as well as any property you rent out.

All changes, minor and major, will help improve the energy efficiency rating of your property.
At Pennington we have an energy specialist who could talk to you about potential benefits and ideas on improving your EPC rating and reducing your costs to heat your own home as well.

As always if you have any property related questions or would like to e-mail me your enquiry please do not hesitate to contact me on the details below.