From 1st April 2018, it will be illegal for landlords to grant new tenancies on properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E. The following top tips for landlords will help you improve the EPC rating of your property…
The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will also apply to all rental properties by 1st April 2020, so it’s essential that investors follow these top tips for landlords now to avoid being caught out.
However, when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of their properties, a worrying 49% of landlords recently surveyed by E.ON said that they do not feel adequately informed of how to do so.
Not only does this mean that they may struggle to get their property compliant with the MEES regulations, but they may also miss out on other benefits of improving the energy efficiency of your rental property.
Thankfully, E.ON’s Mike Feely has put together some top tips for landlords on improving the EPC rating of your property:
- Don’t underestimate the importance of insulation – If the property was built before or around 1920, it most likely has solid walls. Solid wall insulation can be installed from either the inside or the outside of the property. If the property was built after 1920, it’s likely to have cavity walls. These have a double external wall with a small gap between, which can be filled with insulation.
- Reap the rewards of energy efficiency – Making improvements to your property’s energy efficiency will not only help you comply with the regulations, but it can also help to boost your lettings business. Given that most tenants are responsible for paying energy bills, some may be willing to pay more rent for properties that have better energy efficiency, so ensure you make the most of this as a selling point.
- Insulate all the windows – Without properly insulated windows, your property could be losing up to 10% of its heat. Double-glazed windows make a huge difference when it comes to lowering energy bills, as well as reducing condensation and noise. Instead of double-glazing, you could install secondary glazing, which involves fitting a pane of plastic or glass inside the existing window recess to create an insulating layer of air. Though this is not as effective as double-glazing, secondary glazing still saves a significant amount of energy and allows you to maintain good kerb appeal by keeping original features, such as sash windows.
- Make permanent improvements – EPC ratings only consider permanent improvements to the fabric of the building, so think about long-term upgrades that will help to reduce heat and energy use. Simple things, such as draught excluders, will keep the heat in, but won’t count towards improving the EPC rating. Permanent features to fill the gaps around windows, doors, letterboxed and keyholes must be installed.
- Consider renewable energy – For those looking to bring their properties up to date, consider renewable technologies, such as solar panels with an at-home battery to store electricity for use even when the sun goes down. Be aware that these will only contribute to your EPC rating if they’re helping to heat the house, rather than providing electricity for other uses.
We hope that you can use these top tips for landlords to improve the EPC rating of your property and comply with the law!