What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) measures the energy efficiency of a property on a scale from A to G. The most efficient homes – which should have the lowest fuel bills – are in band A.
The EPC rating for a property depends on a number of factors, including the age and construction of the property, the property size, the heating system, type of light and windows, and the presence of any floor/wall/loft insulation.
Landlords are required to have an EPC which is less than 10 years old at the point a property is marketed for rent.
The Scottish Government previously committed to introducing regulations requiring private rental properties to meet a minimum EPC rating of D by 2025.
The impact of Covid-19 has potentially delayed the implementation of this new requirement, with the Scottish Government having paused the laying of regulations for now. This pause may not result in any change to the planned compliance deadlines however, as there is still time for the regulations to be laid later this year.
There are lots of benefits which come with improving energy efficiency, including the increased appeal of your property to potential tenants, leading to lower turnover of tenancies, and reducing the risk of issues such as damp.
Ways to improve your EPC rating?
EPC ratings work via a points system, there are roughly 10 points in each of the A-G EPC bands.
Points are awarded to improve the EPC rating depending on what works are undertaken, for instance:-
- More efficient/cheaper to run heating – up to 40 points
- Better heating controls – up to 5 points
- Installation of wall or loft insulation – up to 11 points
- Consider fitting an insulating jacket to your hot water tank – according to the Energy Savings Trust, a good quality covering will cut heat costs by more than 75%, and they cost as little as £15.
- To stop your boiler from supplying heat to the tank once it reaches an optimal temperature, consider fitting a thermostat to your hot water tank. These can be installed by a boiler engineer for approximately £120.
- Replace your lightbulbs with low energy lightbulbs. If your property is between two ratings, this cheap and cheerful switch can bump you up to a higher band.
Invest in your boiler
You can lose up to 70% efficiency from an old boiler, where modern day condensing boilers are over 90% efficient. Whilst the cost of replacing a boiler can be in the region of £2,000, the investment is likely to save money in the long run.
Whilst not the most cost effective improvement in the short term, with the likely payback period of more than 15 years when measured against annual energy savings, it can improve comfort and noise transmission.
With lots of options available to improve you property’s EPC, the question is, what measures are worth implementing? We highly recommend Landlords seek further advice before incurring costs, this way improvement suitability can be targeted to suit your property.
To find an EPC assessor or obtain a copy of the current EPC for your property go to https://www.scottishepcregister.org.uk/.
Help is available
Home Energy Scotland offer both advice and funding options for landlords looking to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. In particular, the Private Rented Sector Landlord Loan, funded by the Scottish Government, is open to registered private sector landlords and can be used for a variety of energy efficiency improvements.
To discover more about funding options available from Home Energy Scotland, click here.
The team at Tay are here to guide you every step of the way. Simply get in touch.