Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards – what you need to know


 

On 1st April this year, significant changes were introduced to the private rented sector, in a bid to improve the energy efficiency of rented homes. The legislation was proposed in the 2011 Energy Act in response to concerns that in some towns and cities, rental stock is typically older, which could mean that many homes occupied by tenants may not have energy saving features such as cavity wall insulation or double glazing.

Indeed, it has been estimated that whilst less than 6% of privately owned homes fall into the lowest two efficiency brackets, this could be as much as 20% where the property has a tenant in place.

The properties impacted are those that have a valid EPC which rates the property as F or G, or those where the property has never had an Energy Assessment. All properties purchased since 2008 should have had an Energy Efficiency assessment undertaken, meaning many landlords will already know the efficiency rating of their let property.

It’s important to note that the legislation only applies to new tenancies, including renewal of periodic tenancies, and therefore in many cases landlords won’t need to take any action today. However, landlords should arm themselves with the facts straight away, because the legislation will start impacting more landlords and tenancies over the coming months and years – not only as tenancies come to an end, but also because the legislation changes in two years-time
when all rented homes must have an energy efficiency rating of E and above.

How to improve the energy efficiency rating of your property:

The range of improvements you can make can range from draught proofing, better insulation, heating controls, and lighting – right through to installing certain renewable technologies. If you already have an EPC rating of F or G, then the best place to start is ascertaining 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.

Switching to low energy lighting is one of the least disruptive ways to improve energy efficiency, however it is likely only to improve your properties rating by as little as two points. Certain draught reduction measures - for example installing draught excluders and sealing up any gaps around loft hatches, doors and pipes could prevent heat from escaping – which would also cause relatively little disruption. Meanwhile 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.