The introduction of the Energy Efficiency regulations means that landlords are no longer able to let a property in England and Wales without having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or above. Landlords need to be aware of the change because failure to comply will result in large fines.
The average energy efficiency rating for a dwelling in England and Wales is band D but reports show that over one million domestic properties would not currently pass the new rules. Thousands of these properties will be in Birmingham and if these are let without improving their energy efficiency rating to E or above, the owner will incur large fines.
It’s important for landlords to be aware of the new regulations, so in this post, we run through what is needed from landlords, why landlords need an EPC and how to improve a property’s energy efficiency to pass the new regulations.
EPC regulation? What regulation?
An EPC gives a domestic property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for ten years.
Changes to the Energy Efficiency Regulation meant that from April 2018, landlords are required to achieve a minimum EPC rating of E for their rental property. The regulations will initially only apply upon the granting of a new tenancy to a new or existing tenant but from April 2020, all private rental properties must achieve an energy efficiency rating of E or above.
If landlords fail to achieve this EPC rating but continue to rent their property, they face a penalty of up to £5,000 for failure to meet the minimum efficiency requirement. Local Authorities are responsible for enforcing compliance with the minimum level of energy efficiency provisions within their geographic boundaries. So, Birmingham City Council is tasked with imposing penalties to those who breach the regulation in the city.
What should landlords do if the rental property has an EPC rating below E?
If your last EPC rating was below an E on your last assessment, consider how long ago it was taken. If it wasn’t in the past year or two, the first thing to do is to get an up-to-date EPC carried out. There’s more about how Skribes can help Birmingham landlords with that here.
Calculations on the reports are constantly changing and it’s possible that your energy efficiency may have improved in the time since your last assessment. If the EPC assessor still finds your property to have an energy efficiency rating below E, you will need to make improvements to increase your rating before being able to let or renew a contract with a current tenant.
To help, the EPC report comes with a list of recommendations to improve your property’s energy efficiency performance. You will need to carry out enough of these measures to get your score above an E rating.
How to improve EPC rating to E or above
The specifics of what will help improve energy efficiency rating will vary from property to property. One house will have a low rating because of poor insulation whilst the next might have an old and inefficient boiler. The recommendations on your EPC report will be tailored to your property and will include details of the annual cost saving of making the change and how much impact it will have on your energy efficiency rating.
There are a variety of recommendations but perhaps the most common are:
- Replacing your light bulbs with low-energy models.
- Insulating the loft. A cheap options that can have a huge difference (an uninsulated property loses up to 25% of its heat through the roof)
- Upgrading to a newer boiler. The heating system is another big factor contributing to your EPC score and an old boiler is damaging.
EPC assessor for domestic properties in Birmingham
Skribes can help you to gain an Energy Performance Certificate needed for your property or properties in Birmingham. To find out more about energy performance certificates, or to arrange an inspection, please call 07891 551 905 or 07572 966 078 or email [email protected].