In this blog about EPCs we shall be covering:
- What are the expected regulation changes for both residential and commercial properties.
- Five tips on how to improve the rating of your EPC
- What do you need to do now
We still do not know when Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations will change. Over the last year there have been several changes to the expected dates and requirements.
Current legislation in England and Wales requires buy-to-let properties to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above.
However, the government is emphasising its ‘improving the energy performance of privately rented homes’ consultation exercise which, if implemented, will increase the EPC requirement to a C rating for all new tenancies by 2025 or 2026 and for all existing tenancies by 2028 or 2030.
Matched with this, an EPC carried out today may differ from an EPC carried out two years ago on the exact same property as the way the ratings are calculated have changed.
For commercial properties the same conundrum exists. MEES regulations will make it illegal to continue to let buildings with ‘F’ & ‘G’ ratings from 1 April 2023.
The main issue with this is that the government’s decarbonisation strategy encourages buildings to move towards electric heating – ideally energy efficient heat pumps operated from a decarbonised electricity supply. But as electricity remains expensive, there seems to be a downward calculation on ‘efficiency’. For example the installation of heat pumps were lauded as the answer to a low carbon outcome. However, because they are expensive to run they could reduce the rating on an EPC.
It has been widely reported that advised energy costs are going to be around 80 per cent higher than a year ago, even after taking account of the £400 energy support scheme discount.
What can be done to help your tenants?
From over 5 million EPCs the recommendations for improvement are as follows:
- Install solar panels, although these will cost thousands of pounds.
- Switch to use low energy lighting – this is one of the cheapest ways that can help improve energy efficiency, at a cost estimated by the portal to be just £38 on average.
- Insulating the hot water cylinder
- Draught-proofing single glazed windows
- Upgrading heating controls
Last year Rightmove carried out research on 15 million homes which showed that 59% of homes have an EPC of G – D. Therefore there is a huge job to be done to get to the magical C rating.
What needs to be done now?
In a word nothing. We are all waiting for someone to make up their mind as to what needs to be done.
Where EPCs are needing to be renewed (they last 10 years) and they are a D or E we are reviewing historic recommendations to see what could be done to improve the rating . We then make sure that any improvements will have a positive affect on the overall rating before a new EPC is registered. If you are concerned on what you need to do just give us a call on 01480 494939.