What is an EPC?
An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a certificate which will indicate how energy efficient a property is. It is graded from A to G, with A meaning an energy efficient, well-insulated, probably modern home, and G meaning a draughty, usually period property with little to no upgrades over the years. There will also be a number from 1 to 100 which will signify how efficient the property is along with generally how the property utility bills would fare. In this case, the higher the number, the better.
Earlier this year the Department for Energy & Climate Change finally completed the 2018 EPC regulations, which set out the minimum level of energy efficiency for private rented property in England and Wales. The legislation states that it will be unlawful to let or lease a property that has an EPC rating lower than an E. From 1st April 2018 the regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies and for all existing tenancies the legislation will take effect from 1st April 2020. A failure to meet the minimum efficiency requirement could result in a hefty penalty.
As expected, these new EPC requirements apply to both domestic (from one-room flats to detached houses) and non-domestic properties including factories and offices. The changes to the regulations will be based on CO2 emissions for commercial property and on fuel costs for domestic dwellings.
There is still time to prepare a property before the new changes take effect. The first step is to check your EPC rating. If it is below an E, you can refer to the recommended improvements (set out in the certificate) that the owner can make to boost the property’s rating. These recommended improvements will also have an indication of how much of an improvement each one will make.
If you are a landlord and are concerned about the upcoming changes and how it may affect the rental of your property, the first step is to talk to a property solicitor. It may also be worth speaking to a local energy assessor who would be able to offer you advice on upgrades you can make to your property. At JCP Estate Agents, we are always on hand to provide further information or recommend solicitors/contractors who can offer advice.