Honourable and personal residential letting experts

28Jan

An Update on EPCs

In line with the government’s target to be net zero by 2050, any home built before 2012 may have an energy rating that will ultimately effect whether it can be rented out or not. So what are the updates on EPCs?

C and above

The headline aim is that a new tenancy set up after 2026 (up until last month it was 2025) needs to be for a home with an energy rating of C or above. At the moment, the suggestion is that after 2028, all tenancies will come under this restriction. There is also a view that getting a mortgage will be more difficult for properties with a low energy rating going forward. i.e this target will be aimed at the whole housing market.

A new report from the Office for National Statics (ONS) shows that 60% of all households, which were assessed, in the UK have energy ratings lower than a C. Therefore, the government’s straight line plan of every house needing to be a C or above, might just become a little too difficult to reach.

Is age just a number?

The ONS says the age of a property is the most significant factor associated with energy efficiency. This is ahead of fuel type and property type. Looking at homes built before 1900, it is evidenced that only 12% of homes built in England reach the target of C.

Stating the obvious

Not surprisingly, homes built in 2012 or later in England are much more likely to have a C or above efficiency ratings than older homes. The stats show (again not surprisingly) that the age of a dwelling affects the energy efficiency as building techniques and regulations have changed over time, alongside wear and tear.

£10,000…

As far as we can see, there are monetary levels that have been set (£10,000 or over) that a landlord would need to spend in order to increase the energy efficiency, before they become exempt from attaining a C. This seems to me, to be a very big loophole to the whole scheme. Grants have also been discussed but given the fiasco of the last two Green Deals, I am not sure how they intend to make this work a third time around.

Small changes, big difference

However, to be fair to a good number of the landlords we work with-  since the introduction of EPCs in 2008, many have been working to improve the energy efficiency of the homes they rent out. We have seen that a good proportion have been gradually upgrading simple elements such as better insulation or more energy efficient lighting. This shows that these relatively small changes can make a positive difference to reach a higher grading. Also EPCs now give far more information as to what can be done to improve things.

Another government driver is the plan to phase out gas boilers by 2035 – so something to be aware of for the future.

 

 

Next steps

To view your EPC you can find it here on the online EPC register 

If you would like to understand what will be needed to improve the energy performance of your investment properties just give us a call on 01480 494939.

Visit our landlord’s section to see what support we offer landlords, here