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  • Writer's pictureJenny Yu

Rising Energy Prices - Improve Your Property's Energy Performance

Inflation is set to reach an all-time high as energy bills soared in April. The consumer price index (CPI) inflation is thought to have reached 9.1% in April, with official figures out in May. With the Bank of England predicting that inflation will continue to rise to above 10% this year, people are cutting their spending wherever they can.

Many renters are now also looking into the energy efficiency of their home and when viewing potential tenancies, since cost of gas and electricity will have a major impact on their daily outgoings. It is a no brainer for property owners to find out ways to improve energy efficiency of their property to reduce running costs and make the property more attractive to the market, as well as for environmental/climate change concerns.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and what is it?

Energy Performance Certificates were introduced in 2007 and are a legal requirement for a building to be sold, let or constructed. Once obtained, an EPC is valid for 10 years.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) measures the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A-G.

The most efficient homes - which should have the lowest fuel bills - are in band A. The Certificate will tell you on a scale of A-G, the energy efficiency of your home along with the potential scale after improvements are made, with 'A' being the most efficient home. Better-rated homes should have less impact through Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions, the EPC will show the amount of CO2 emissions produced by that property in tonnes, and will advise on the amount this could be reduced by.

The average property in the UK is in bands D-E for both ratings. The Certificate includes recommendations on ways to improve the home's energy efficiency to save you money and help the environment. EPCs apply also to commercial buildings and are rated only by Carbon Dioxide emission ratings on a scale of A-G.

Once you've made improvements to your home, make sure to have a new EPC issued.

Diagram of Energy Efficiency Rating and Environmental Impact Rating.
The numbers in each rating reflect the government's Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and go from 1 to 100 SAP points. These scores are divided into bands as above figure.

EPCs for Landlords

As of April 2018, landlords must have an up to date EPC when renting out a property or starting a new tenancy. EPCs run out after 10 years and must be updated. There are now minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) to take into consideration. A property you rent out cannot be below an ‘E’ rating.

EPC Information for Landlords

When buildings are to be rented out, the landlord is legally responsible for ensuring a valid certificate is made available to all prospective tenants. The EPC report must be made available to all tenants at the earliest opportunity possible, with all costs being covered by the landlord.

Prospective tenants are to receive the EPC free of charge and no later than:

  • When any written information about the building is provided in response to a request for information received from the prospective tenant; or

  • When a viewing is conducted

If neither of those occur, the EPC will need to be made available before entering into a contract to sell or let. Landlords are not obliged to make the EPC available where:

  • The landlord doesn’t believe there is a genuine interest from the prospective tenant or feels they are unlikely to have sufficient funds to rent the property

  • The landlord is not prepared to rent out the property to the prospective tenant (although this does not authorise unlawful discrimination)

EPC Exemptions

There are some exemptions for buildings that do not require an EPC:

  • Places of worship or buildings used for religious activities

  • Holiday accommodation and residential buildings that are used for less than 4 months a year

  • Workshops and industrial sites

  • Buildings that are to be demolished

  • Buildings that are intended to be used for less than 2 years

  • Detached buildings with less than 50 square metres of floor space.

Getting an EPC

EPCs are only available from accredited Energy Assessors with the appropriate level of training and qualifications.

For more information about getting an EPC for your Buy-to-Let property, contact Quince Property today.

Use energy efficient light bulb to improve your property's energy performance

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