Could you explain what is an EPC (energy performance certificate)?
An EPC gives all the information about a property’s energy use and energy costs. The EPC offers recommendations how to reduce energy use and save the property owner money by making the property more efficient.
Each EPC is given an efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
What is the most common thing’s that you come across in on-site surveys, where a landlord can improve the rating significantly by spending a relatively small amount of money – any tips for property owners?
Something as small as changing lightbulbs to LED’s will have an instant impact on the EPC rating – its quick and cheap to do.
Other improvements a property owner could undertake is to switch from a single to dual tariff electric meter (if it is possible). Installing a thermostat for the hot water tank and adding a programmer/smart meter on the central heating is quite inexpensive these days and greatly contributes to a better rating.
What is the single most effective improvement a property owner could do to boost the rating of the EPC by the most at their property?
It really depends on the type of property, however, generally speaking – the single biggest contributing factor to a lower rating on an EPC is heat escaping through walls to the external air – wall insulation is therefore a must.
What is the worst-rated EPC you have ever seen? What was the rating and why was it so bad?
Earlier in the year, I visited a property that was given a G rating – this was because the property had no central heating or any hot water. The owner has trouble selling it, and ultimately it was sold at an auction.
What is the best-rated EPC you have ever seen? Why was it rated so high?
The highest rating, I personally have given is a B which was an apartment around 8 years old.
An EPC with a higher rating than a B could most likely be found at a mid-level new build apartment – this would be because regulations now demand higher energy efficiency standards in new build properties.
Does simply changing lightbulbs to all LED’s have any positive effect on an EPC?
Absolutely – it’s 3 points!!
From the 1st April 2018, it became law that all properties which are rented out in the UK must have an EPC rating of at least an E. What types of things would contribute to getting rated an F or worse on an EPC – can you give any examples?
Old inefficient electric room heaters can be enough to really drag down the rating on an EPC. Many people still do not have heating programmers. There is also a fair few who still have some single glazing – they should all be updated sooner rather than later!
There has been much speculation that the government in the future will increase the requirements for Landlords properties to meet a C rating, rather than the current E rating before they are rented out – will this be hard to achieve?
There will be those Landlords who will update their properties, so they meet the energy requirements by law – many invest in property for the long term. You could also find that some Landlords decide to sell off properties that require lots of work if they are not up to it themselves. This government policy may have a greater influence on the types of properties Landlords buy in the future. It is especially important for the UK to be as energy-efficient as possible – I would welcome this change where we have cleaner energy which will shape a better future for generations to come and the planet.