The 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations, passed in March 2015, set out minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for England and Wales. What does this mean to you?
From 1 April 2018 it will be unlawful for landlords to grant a new lease for properties that have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E, unless the property is registered as an exemption. Any landlord found to be letting a sub-standard property in direct breach of the new regulations would be at risk of prosecution, which must be enforced by local authorities with a civil penalty of up to £5,000 imposed for breaches.
The local authority will also be able to serve a compliance notice upon the landlord, asking them to bring the property up to the required standard. Some properties may only need a couple of inexpensive tweaks to bring them in line with the new regulatory requirements. So before we schedule a visit from a Domestic Energy Assessor. We look to see what can be done to increase their property’s energy efficiency rating.
Over the last year we have been working with our Landlords to improve the rating of the property and have come up with a list of things that really do make a difference.
Fit new loft insulation so that it measures at least 270mm in depth. Look into grants and funding opportunities to see if your property qualifies. Ensure that any cavity walls are also insulated.
There are plenty of ways to improve lighting efficiency, but switching from halogen to more energy efficient lighting will have a big impact for relatively little cost.
Replacing single-glazed windows with double-glazed units will have the dual effect of sprucing up your property and giving its energy efficiency rating a boost.
Draft-proof doors and windows
Look around windows, doors, loft hatches and floorboards in order to identify draughty areas, then address the best way to prevent the draught, be it excluders, fillers, curtains etc. The Energy Savings Trust estimates that the materials for draught-proofing an entire property could cost between £85.00 – £275.00 if you want to do it yourself, while hiring a professional could cost considerably more.
If you’re able to invest a little more, then consider replacing an old boiler with a new condensing one. As well as hugely increasing your EPC score, this could reduce running costs by hundreds of pounds each year, making the property much more attractive for prospective tenants. If you want to boost your EPC score even further, then why not look at introducing updated heating controls too, such as boiler programmers, room thermostats and individual Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs).