The Latest EPC Regulations: Are You Prepared for the Upcoming Changes?

energy efficiency rating with calculator

As a landlord, you may or may not already be aware that in 2021 energy rating proposed changes were announced, which could come into force in 2025 and affect you and your property.

To get yourself up to speed and fully informed about what these EPC regulations changes mean and how they could affect you, read on to find out more in our latest blog.

What is an EPC for landlords?

In England and Wales rental properties have required an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) since October 2008 (at the time, this was only needed when advertising a property), which gives detailed information about the energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions of your property.

EPC requirements for landlords

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) has been in place since 1st April 2018 for new or renewed tenancies. However, since 1st April 2020 this has now applied to all existing tenancies, and the minimum EPC for renting that is required for all let or sold properties in England and Wales is ‘E’ or above. Without this, your property cannot legally be let unless you have an exemption certificate.

What are the landlord EPC changes?

The government have announced changes to the MEES for England and Wales, following a consultation that took place in December 2020, which aims to make properties more energy-efficient and support the government’s target to be net-zero by 2050. This means that by 2025, all new rental property tenancies will need an EPC for rental property rating of ‘C’ or above, followed by all tenancies from 2028.

What do landlords need to do to obtain an EPC rating of ‘C’ in readiness for the changes?

You’ll need to book your Energy Assessment Survey inspection with a Domestic Energy Assessor as soon as possible, which should take around 30 to 40 minutes. The aim of the survey will be to grade your property’s energy performance from ‘A’ (the most efficient) to ‘G’ (the least efficient).

During the inspection, internal and external checks of the following will be taken in order to decide how energy efficient your property is:

  • Roofs, walls and insulation
  • Windows
  • Lighting
  • Boilers and heating systems
  • Fireplaces
  • Renewable energy devices (solar panels or wind turbines)
  • The year the property was built
  • The building measurements

How long is an EPC valid for rental?

An EPC is valid for ten years once it has been issued, and you do not need to get a new one once it has expired unless a new tenancy with new tenants is being entered into or the property is being sold.

Are there any exceptions to EPC requirements?

There are certain MEES and new EPC register exemptions which may be applicable to your property:

  • Your property is listed or protected
  • You have temporary buildings (for use of two years or less)
  • Places of worship
  • Some workshops or industrial sites
  • Detached buildings with a floor space of 50 metres or less
  • Buildings that are being demolished
  • All improvements made
  • Consent exemption
  • Devaluation

However, you will need to apply to your local council for an exemption certificate to comply with the legislation.

What else do I need to know?

If your property isn’t exempt and you don’t have a valid EPC, from 2025 the penalty will increase from £5,000 to £30,000.

A recommendation report containing advice and improvements to make your property more energy-efficient will be provided with your EPC assessment, and some suggestions may include:

  • Cavity wall and loft insulation insulation
  • Windows and doors draught-proofing
  • Pipes and tanks insulation
  • Energy-efficient glazing
  • Low-energy usage light bulbs being installed

It’s important to note that if your property doesn’t meet the EPC ‘E’ requirement, any suggested improvements that your assessor makes may take weeks to be implemented. Here at Aspire To Move we are already looking at each of our properties to improve the rating prior to the changes being made.

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