As part of the management service provided by our sister company Ready to Rent management, we help ensure that the tenancy is managed in accordance with regulations and that the required certification is kept up to date. This includes complying with the government’s ‘Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency’ standard which, for all domestic private rented property is currently EPC band E.
An EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and measures the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A-G, with 'A' being the most efficient. They 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.
The certificate gives information on the energy efficiency of the property along with recommendations on ways to improve the property’s energy efficiency with a view to achieving a better result after improvements are made to help save money and help the environment.
The average property in the UK is in bands D-E and since April 2018 the minimum Energy Efficiency Standards introduced by the government has made it a legal requirement for all privately owned properties to have an EPC rating of at least an E before they are sold or let, and since April 2020 it now applies to all existing tenancies not just the new ones.
In 2021, as part of the government’s current drive to make homes more energy-efficient and reduce carbon emissions, to help achieve their target to be net-zero by 2050, the government proposed that all rental properties will need an EPC rating of ‘C’ or above by 2025. Similar to the previous changes, the new regulations will be introduced for new tenancies first, followed by all tenancies from 2028.
As a landlord, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that your properties meet the minimum requirements, and we are here to help you achieve that by keeping abreast of all government standards and ensuring that your property is conforming to the current regulations at all times.
We are happy to say that most of the properties we manage are already C/D rated.
To achieve a C rating the following needs to be in place;
Double glazing and boilers are replaced if necessary during the refurbishment process before you purchase your property and there is a range of initiatives available relating to the thermal enveloping which covers everything from loft insulation to external wall cladding.
We have been a member of Durham County Council’s Private Landlord Accreditation Scheme for over 5 years and we actively keep on top of initiatives such as the Durham Warm Home Grant Scheme to help improve our properties. These tend to be available on a large scale with certain areas being improved at a time, for more information please see the following website article which helps explain about the sort of work that is being done to help with insulating the properties using external wall cladding https://www.warmhomesdurham.co.uk/solid-wall-insulation
The majority of our tenants are on a low income and on universal credit, so we encourage the tenants to take advantage of any benefits available to them from the council and Green Deal Companies and also encourage tenants to use LED light bulbs. We are currently looking into fitting pendant light fittings that will only allow installation of energy efficient light bulbs.
We are keeping on top of current government guidance regarding Heat pumps as they are a hot topic (excuse the pun!) but we are not currently considering moving to heat pumps as the government are still quite a way away from making the move to heat pumps mandatory, and they are comparatively very expensive options at present. It is our understanding that no-one will be forced to remove their existing fossil fuel boilers, with this transition of the next 14 years seeing the UK’s households gradually move away from fossil fuel boilers in an affordable, practical and fair way, enabling homeowners to easily make these green choices when the time comes to replace their old boiler. Given the lifetime of a natural gas boiler is around 15 years, in order to reach Net Zero in a cost-effective consumer-friendly way, the government aims to phase out the installation of new natural gas boilers beyond 2035. They also aim to set a clear ambition for industry to reduce the costs of installing a heat pump by at least 25-50% by 2025 and to ensure heat pumps are no more expensive to buy and run than gas boilers by 2030 by which point they may naturally become the obvious, affordable choice.
If you wish to discuss EPCs or Heat pumps in more detail, please contact us on 01483 663001.