Many of us are familiar with Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), which were first introduced in 2007 for domestic properties. They are a guide that would-be buyers or tenants get when they look at a property. It shows how efficiently a home uses energy, how this impacts on the cost of running a home and recommendations of how to improve the energy efficiency of the property.
They remain valid for 10 years and there’s a national register of EPC s where you can look at your property’s previous certificates (as well as viewing similar properties in your neighbourhood for a comparison of how energy efficient your home is).
The survey needed to produce an EPC is performed by an assessor who visits the property, examines key items such as the boiler, radiators, windows, loft insulation and so on. They use software to rate energy efficiency, and a recommended value of the potential for improvement.
EPCs show the energy efficiency on a scale of A to G. The most efficient homes, which should have the lowest fuel bills, are in band A and the average property in the UK is in band D or E.
New regulations from 1 April mean that there will be a requirement for most new lets and renewals of tenancies to have an energy performance rating of E or better. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches this requirement unless there is an applicable exemption and financial penalties can be imposed for breaches. Energy efficiency improvements must be carried out to bring the property up to at least an E rating before the property is rented out.
Ensuring that properties are energy efficient is important and a reflection of the drive towards professionalisation of the private rental sector. Lenders will no doubt be updating their criteria and processes to reflect these changes so it’s as well to be prepared to avoid delays and unnecessary costs.