The EPC rules are changing
You might remember the Scottish Government ruling which stated that the EPC regulations are changing. We’re here to explain what’s changing, guide you through the process and keep you informed of changes to landlord regulation.
If you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming legislation changes, please get in touch and a member of our lettings team can assist you.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new EPC rules.
What is an EPC rating?
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) provide information on how energy efficient a property is, and how it could be improved. Properties are rated on a scale from A to G, with A being the most efficient.
The EPC rating is a measure of the cost to heat and power the home based on a set of assumptions about occupant behaviour. The higher the cost to heat the property, the lower the rating. Therefore, homes heated by expensive on-peak electricity will in most cases perform worse than homes heated by cheaper gas or renewable resources like biomass.
Equally, properties which don’t retain heat will be more expensive to heat and therefore have a lower EPC rating than properties that are well insulated. Unfortunately, older properties such as listed buildings, where modernising and energy-efficient upgrades aren’t available, tend to be rated lower than modern properties. However, there are things you can do to mitigate this – and the new legislation may not affect you if this is the case.
Do I need an EPC rating?
Yes, all registered landlords are required to have an EPC that is less than 10 years old when the property is listed. The EPC must be displayed for potential tenants on any property advertisement.
At Tay, we can arrange for an approved assessor to attend the property and prepare the EPC. We’ll also keep you on track as your EPC needs renewed and be in touch to arrange this with you.
What’s changing with the EPC in Scotland?
The Scottish Government has announced updated proposals for introducing a minimum EPC standard in the private rented sector (PRS). This will come into effect at the start of a new tenancy from 2025 and for everyone by 2028.
Changes to EPC Standard in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic
Previous proposals to require a standard of D from 2022 will now not be taken forward in recognition of the significant impact on the sector caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Instead, the government intends to introduce a requirement for PRS properties to have an EPC rating of C at change of tenancy from 2025. All PRS properties will then be required to reach a minimum standard of C by 2028. Exemptions will be available for properties where it is not technically feasible or cost-effective to reach that standard.
Our job is making your portfolio run smoothly and as such, we’re here to guide you through this new legislation as it comes into action. We can help to arrange up to date EPC audits as well as help you manage and budget any necessary upgrades you’ll need to comply with future legislation.
Changes which can improve your EPC rating
There are many things you can do to improve your EPC rating, here are some of our best tips below.
Fit a more efficient boiler
Boilers account for about 55% of what occupants spend in a year on energy bills, so an efficient boiler makes a big difference, with newer condensing boilers being over 90% efficient. The typical cost of replacing a boiler is in the region of £2000.
* Improve central heating controls (programmers, TRVs and room thermostat)
Without a thermostat, the heating system may not switch off when the dwelling is up to temperature. A room thermostat will automatically turn off the boiler when the dwelling reaches the temperature set by the occupant. Wireless thermostats are available to prevent the need for any wiring back to the boiler and cost around £200 to be fitted.
* Fit insulating jacket to hot water tank
According to the Energy Savings Trust, fitting a good quality jacket around the hot water cylinder will cut heat loss by more than 75%. They cost as little as £15 and yet will typically save more than this each year in fuel cost savings.
Fit thermostat to hot water tank
The presence of a cylinder thermostat will stop the boiler supplying heat to the tank once it reaches the desired temperature. This reduces the energy consumed in heating the hot water. Cylinder thermostats should be installed by a boiler engineer and should cost around £120 to be fitted.
Cavity wall insulation
If your property has a cavity wall, this is another really cost-effective improvement you could consider. The cost is around £400 and should pay for itself within 5 years in energy savings.
However, cavity wall insulation is not suitable for all cavities and can lead to very serious damp problems if it is installed in unsuitable properties, if unsuitable materials are used or if it is installed badly. Make sure you use a reputable installer who carries out a thorough
pre-installation assessment and provides a long-term guarantee.
We all know that we lose most heat through our heads, and the same applies to a roof! Loft insulation is suitable for houses or top floor flats, this is one of the most cost-effective improvements which should pay for itself in fuel savings within 2 years. It can lead to energy savings of up to 20%. The cost for an average house tends to be around £300.
This is not a particularly cost effective improvement when viewed purely on the basis of installation cost vs annual energy savings as the typical payback period is often more than 15 years. However, it can improve the comfort of the home and noise transmission from busy roads etc, and is usually popular with tenants, making it easier to let the property. If your property is listed or in a conservation area you will need consent from the local authority.
Find out more
At Tay, we can guide you through the process of upping your energy credentials, ensuring that you keep within the law and make the right investments which will lead to a greater return on your investment.
For more information or to speak to a member of our team, why not give us a call today?