By April 2020 landlords of private rented domestic property will need to make sure their rental homes achieve at least an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of E.
What steps are you taking to reduce your carbon footprint? When it comes to tackling climate change, action really does begin at home.
It’s estimated that buildings produce half of the UK’s carbon emissions - double the environmental impact of cars and planes.
Like it or not, legislation is forcing improved energy efficiency in many areas of British life, including the home, in an effort to achieve a target of zero emissions by 2050.
For example, by April 2020 landlords of private rented domestic property will need to make sure their rental homes achieve at least an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of E. For domestic properties, the EPC ratings range from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.
Whether you’re buying, selling, renting or thinking of becoming a landlord, you need to know about EPCs; how the rules around them are changing and how to improve your rating.
What is an EPC
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. Homeowners and landlords must order an EPC for potential buyers and tenants before marketing a property to sell or rent.
An EPC contains:
· Information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs
· Recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money
An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. You will need to appoint an accredited assessor to carry out the EPC inspection and your estate agent or letting agent must be given a copy of the report.
While EPCs are an essential step to buying or renting out a property (without one you could receive a fine) they can also be a useful marketing tool. As more of us become aware of the threat to our environment, a good EPC rating is more important than ever. It also demonstrates an energy efficient home, where energy bills are likely to be cheaper than a similar property with a lower EPC rating.
Your EPC site visit?
It takes less than an hour to carry out an internal and external inspection of most domestic properties. During that time, a qualified domestic energy assessor will inspect or measure the property’s:
· Exterior walls
· Roof insulation
· Open fireplaces
· Heating system
· Heating controls
· Hot water cylinder insulation
· Ventilation system
· Conservatory and extensions.
How to improve your property’s EPC rating
If you want to improve your EPC rating before selling or renting out your property, the first step is to examine your existing EPC report. The recommendations page will list measures you can take to improve the energy performance of the property.
In addition, here are a few things you should think about doing:
1. Improve your insulation
A quarter of household heat is lost through the roof, but loft insulation is easy to install and relatively inexpensive. It’s also worth seeking professional advice about whether cavity wall insulation would work in your property.
2. Add double glazing
Rickety old single glazed windows can be responsible for 40% of the heat loss in your house. Modern high-performance double glazing will make a significant difference to the energy efficiency of a home.
3. Replace your light bulbs with LEDs
Replace your halogen spotlights with LED bulbs – these energy saving lights are a cheap and easy way to nudge up your EPC rating.
4. Consider a new boiler
The heating system accounts for a large chunk of a property's energy use. If you have an old, inefficient boiler, a new one could make a big impact on your EPC and cut heating bills substantially.
5. Go one step further with renewables
Consider new renewable energy sources. Installing solar panels, biomass boilers and ground-source heat pumps could dramatically increase an EPC rating and are essential if you’re aiming for the highest rating possible.
Find out more
Find out more about EPC rules on the government website gov.uk
If you’re thinking of selling or renting out property and would like advice about energy performance certificates, or any other aspect of marketing your home, contact us today.