We all know the environmental and long term cost benefits of making our homes more energy efficient. But for UK landlords, energy efficiency is no longer a choice, but an obligation.
From 1 April 2018 all private rental properties in the UK must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a minimum rating of E. Without the certificate, landlords will not be allowed to rent out their properties to new tenants or renew existing rental contracts.
This may sound like an added stress for landlords who will have to face the costs of bringing their properties up to energy efficiency standards. However, long term benefits include an increase in the property value and lower energy bills for tenants.
And ultimately, as a property landlord, you can’t afford the risk of owning a property you’re unable to rent.
Here’s a more detailed look at EPC certificate requirements as well as measures can you take to ensure your rental property is compliant before April 2018.
What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate is issued after your property has been inspected by an accredited assessor, and is valid for 10 years. The EPC contains information about the property’s typical energy costs and recommendations on how to improve the property’s energy performance to save money.
Assessors will consider factors such as the size of the property, its fabric, make up and age, and the thickness and make up of walls.
Properties are rated from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). Your rental property must achieve a minimum rating of E to comply with EPC standards. Local authorities can charge between £200 and £4,000 in fines for non-compliance.
Energy Efficiency Measures
Here are some typical examples of how you can quickly improve your rental property’s energy efficiency in time for April:
Heat rises. If a property doesn’t have adequate loft insulation, much of that heat will escape through the roof. Proper roof or loft insulation can save around 45% in heat loss.
Cavity wall insulation can also save a great deal in energy bills, although installation can be messy and disruptive so it would be better to do it in-between tenancies.
It’s expensive to install, but the benefits of double glazing go beyond energy efficiency. Double glazing makes a property more secure, attractive, and may even increase its value. It also cuts out noise pollution from busy London streets, making it a far more appealing and comfortable home for your tenants.
If nothing else, for a quick fix option, add seals to windows and doors to eliminate draughts.
Replacing standard lightbulbs with LEDs is another inexpensive and simple option. LEDs use 90% less energy than conventional lightbulbs and their lower wattage makes them safer, lowering the risk of electrical fires.
Low Flow Shower Heads
Modern low flow shower heads are easy to install and deliver a good pressure of water while cutting water consumption by 40%.
For more information and advice on energy efficiency and renting out a property in London, contact Pisoria today.