Further change to Energy Efficiency Standards – what you need to know

We told you earlier this year about some significant changes which were introduced to the private rented sector, in a bid to improve the energy efficiency of rented homes.

The change, which was introduced in April, meant that a landlord could not start a new tenancy where the property they intended to rent out had an energy efficiency rating over F or G. It became a legal requirement to implement some energy saving alterations to improve the rating.

It had been estimated that whilst less than 6% of privately-owned homes fall into the lowest two efficiency brackets, but it was feared that this number could be as high as 20% where the property has a tenant in place. There are currently some exemptions in place which mean that a landlord does not need to comply if there is no funding available for landlords to recoup the costs of making the improvement.

However, it was announced earlier this month that the exemption will be replaced by a maximum spend cap of £3,500. This means that if there are no grants available, and the cost of upgrade is more than £3,500 then a landlord will receive financial support to make the property more energy efficient.

It is understood that the vast majority of landlords will be unaffected as 80% of properties are already rated A – E, meaning no improvements are needed. But, if your property has an EPC rating of F or G, then you should begin by establishing how far off an E rating is. Your EPC certificate will include the current rating, as well as a potential rating should certain improvements be made.

However, if you are impacted, then how can you improve the energy efficiency rating of your property:

Low energy lighting is one of the least disruptive ways to improve energy efficiency, but it is likely only to improve your property’s rating by as little as two points.

There are some draught reduction measures you could take, for example installing draught excluder’s and sealing up any gaps around loft hatches, doors and pipes to prevent heat from escaping, which will not only be low-cost but will cause relatively little disruption.

Options such as installing a condensing boiler can give your rating a boost as much as 45 points, however this of course comes with a much higher bill.

Whatever the efficiency status and rating of your let property, Darlows can help. We work with energy efficiency practitioners across the UK who can assess your property and make recommendations for how to improve the energy efficiency.

It’s important to remember that in many cases where homes are more energy efficient then not only will tenants benefit from lower fuel bills, but any improvements you do make can only help to add value to your rented home.