How energy efficient is your property?

10th May 2019

When you’re considering renting or buying a property, it’s a good idea to look at its Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, which gives a good indication of how much it will cost to live there.

EPCs rate a property’s energy performance from A to G (A is very efficient and G is very inefficient), similar to those seen on white goods. All self-contained rental properties in England and Wales must have an EPC rating of E or above.

At present, all new lets and tenancy renewals must have EPCs, and from 1st April 2020, the law will extend to all existing tenancies. Landlords are obliged to bring properties up to the required standard if they are given an F or G rating.

Letters instructs a domestic energy assessor to carry out an EPC on every property we manage. Landlords who manage properties themselves must appoint their own; we can provide numbers for accredited energy assessors.

EPC Certificates include the following:

  • an estimation of the energy the property potentially uses
  • fuel costs i.e. an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power the property
  • details of potential savings if energy efficiency improvements are made
  • carbon dioxide emissions
  • details of the person who carried out the assessment
  • who to contact for complaints
  • If the property falls into an E band or higher, landlords aren’t obliged to follow the recommendations but would-be tenants often compare the energy efficiency of one rental property to another so it may influence their decision.

The improvements that could save you the most energy depend on the property, but typical examples include:

  • insulation, such as solid wall, cavity wall, water tank or loft insulation
  • heating improvements, such as replacing an inefficient boiler
  • draught-proofing
  • double glazing
  • renewable energy generation, such as solar panels or heat pumps
  • York City Council and its partner, Better Homes Yorkshire, help private tenants and landlords take advantage of the latest Government-funded options to make energy efficiency improvement works.

All EPCs are made public, and available to view online. Failure to comply with the EPC minimum rating results in fines for landlords of up to £5,000 per property. There are some exemptions, such as listed buildings, but landlords can also be penalised for failing to register them. Holiday lets are outside the scope of this legislation as they are regulated by licenses.

Please contact us to discuss any points raise in this article, We’ll be happy to help