If you’re a private landlord in England or Wales, there are some important changes being made to energy efficiency regulations which could affect your properties.
From April 1st, 2018, any private rental properties will be required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a rating of E or higher. This regulation will apply to new lets and renewed tenancies from April 2018 and will then be applied to existing tenancies from April 2020.
After those dates it will be unlawful to rent a property without a rating of E. Landlords found to be in breach of these regulations will face a civil penalty fine that could be as much as £5,000.
Which properties are affected?
The properties affected are any domestic, privately rented properties which are required by law to have an EPC or are contained within a larger unit or building that is required to have one. This includes houses, flats and self-contained units but excludes bedsits. The EPC cannot be more than 10 years old.
Which properties are excluded?
Protected buildings such as listed buildings are exempt if the measures needed to improve the energy efficiency will alter the character or appearance of the building. Temporary structures with short intended use of 2 years or less, residences used for less than 4 months of a year and buildings with a floor area of less than 50 square metres are also exempt.
Any properties that are exempt are required to register on the PRS Exemptions Register, and failure to do so will be seen as non-compliance. Once a property is assessed and declared exempt it will be valid for 5 years and need reassessing after expiry.
Are there rules about how energy efficiency is improved?
There are currently no regulations to specify how the energy efficiency rating E should be achieved. It is up to the landlord to decide how and what work is carried out on the property.
The regulations do however identify that only cost-effective improvements should be made. It’s also possible that a landlord could be exempt in some cases, e.g. if a landlord can prove that all possible cost-effective measures have been taken, but the rating remains below E.
How do I improve the energy efficiency of a property?
There are several improvements you can make to a property which will improve the energy efficiency rating, many of which are very straightforward to carry to out. You could improve the energy efficiency of your property significantly by:
1. Installing a new boiler
Upgrading your boiler could be the fastest way to achieve a better energy efficiency rating. More specifically, replacing a non-condensing boiler with a new condensing, A rated boiler with over 90% energy efficiency.
All our boiler installations come with ErP (Energy Related Products) Energy Labelling, showing the exact level of energy efficiency for the boiler. Find out more about new boiler installations >
2. Improving property insulation
Installing or improving insulation to prevent heat loss. This includes wall insulation, roof and loft insulation, and pipework insulation. Replacing basic single glazing with double glazed windows will also reduce heat loss. Find out more about building and carpentry solutions >
3. Consider solar panels
Installing solar panels and a solar energy storage system will reduce a property’s energy dependence on the National Grid. Find out more about renewable energy solutions >
Remember, it is also extremely important to keep up to date with electrical testing and Gas Safety certificates. Both Landlord Gas Safety Records and NICEIC Electrical Installation Condition Reports are required by law. Book an engineer >