From 1 April 2019, it was made a legal requirement that all privately-rented homes in England and Wales must carry an official EPC rating of at least ‘E’ for new tenancies. However, now 2020 is upon us, this legislation will soon extend to existing tenancies, meaning many landlords will have little time to improve their property’s energy standards.
Those who don’t carry out required upgrades risk facing fines of up to £5,000 per property, so if you’re one of 49% of landlords who do not feel adequately informed about how to improve the EPC rating of your property then read on through our handy guide to EPC rating.
What is an EPC rating?
Any property which is built, sold or rented in the UK requires an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This certificate demonstrates the energy efficiency of a residential property and indicates how much your tenants can expect to pay to heat and light it. In addition, it establishes the property’s carbon footprint and also pinpoints what improvements can be made to boost energy efficiency.
An EPC uses a banded rating system, from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), meaning that landlords whose properties fall in F and G bands need to upgrade their properties. Each EPC is valid for 10 years from the date it’s issued.
How to Improve EPC Rating of a Property
Making your property more energy efficient won’t just make it a warmer, more comfortable place for your tenants to live, it can also improve its value.
Here are some of the ways you can improve your score:
- Double glazing. Properly insulated doors and windows should be high on your priority list. Upgrading them won’t just improve your home’s energy performance, it can reduce condensation and noise, too.
- Loft insulation. Don’t underestimate the importance of thorough insulation in making a property more energy efficient. Loft insulation is easy to install, inexpensive and can make a huge difference to your bills.
- Wall insulation. Whether your home has cavity or solid walls, insulating them can improve your EPC rating and you might qualify for help with the costs.
- Replace your boiler. You can cut your energy bills with a new, energy-efficient boiler. Whilst this is an investment in itself, the initial cost outlay is well worth the potential savings a new boiler could have for you and your tenants.
- An efficient secondary heating source. Swapping out an old open fireplace for a wood-burner is another way of ensuring better fuel efficiency and reducing long-term costs.
- Don’t forget about renewable technologies. For those keen to invest further, it’s worth considering renewable technologies such as solar panels with an at-home battery to store electricity. It’s worth remembering, though, that these will only contribute to your rating if they’re helping to heat the property, rather than providing electricity for other uses.
You can find out more information on how best to boost your property’s energy efficiency by speaking to your local Leaders Lettings team. If your property is fully managed, your dedicated property manager will be able to arrange for any improvement works required.