Did you know that from 1st April 2018, all private rental sector properties in England and Wales must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of at least E when a tenancy is granted to new or existing tenants?
The new EPC rating rules were included in the Energy Act 2011. In addition to the private rental sector regulations, all occupied domestic properties must have an EPC rating of at least E by 1st April 2020.
Why have the laws been introduced?
Not only does better energy efficiency help the environment, a better EPC rating will usually mean a higher house price, which is good news to all property owners.
In addition, energy efficient properties cost less to run, which makes them more attractive to potential tenants. If you improve the energy efficiency of your rental property, you may find that you suffer fewer void periods!
According to the English Housing Survey from 2014, 27% of private rental sector properties could benefit from loft insulation, while 45% would benefit from a boiler upgrade.
If you are looking to replace your boiler, be aware that you may need to comply with building regulations.
Tips for landlords
Fairview Estates and Greenvision Energy offer their top tips for landlords looking to improve their property’s EPC rating:
- Install smart storage heaters – They charge cheaply throughout the night, providing heat during the day, and are 47% cheaper to run than electric convector heaters. However, always choose a BEAB-approved device.
- Improve insulation – Uninsulated homes can lose 33% of their heat through the roof, while good insulation can save households up to £200 and 730kg of CO2 every year.
- Use LED bulbs – 18% of the average household’s electricity bill is spent on lighting, while LED bulbs use 90% less energy than incandescent or halogen bulbs; tenants could save £35 per year on energy bills.
Although the new laws were created to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock and save tenants money on bills, the Residential Landlords Association has warned that the regulations could become a “tax on tenants”, as landlords pass on the costs to renters in the form of higher prices.
It is expected that 330,000 private rental properties will be affected by the legislation.
Follow the tips above and shown in the infographic to easily improve the energy efficiency of your rental property.