What is an Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document that shows how energy efficient a specific property is. It provides a rating for the property between A to G, with A being very energy efficient and G being inefficient.
It will outline the rough energy costs for the property. What’s more, it also provides some practical recommendations on what could be done to improve the energy performance rating.
What’s Changing in 2020
The MEES regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for private rented properties in England and Wales. The regulations came into effect in April 2018 with a grace period of two years for tenancies which had started before 1 April 2018.
All rented properties must meet the MEES, which is currently a rating of “E” on a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) no later than 1 April 2020. This means all landlords and agents must check their current EPCs to ensure they are compliant.
If the EPC has a rating or F or G, landlords must either carry out the necessary improvement works or apply for an exemption certificate.
What are the exemptions?
A landlord may be exempt from these regulations in certain circumstances. These exemptions are;
- ‘High cost’ Exemption
- ‘7 Year Payback’ Exemption
- ‘All Improvements Made’ Exemption
- ‘Wall Insulation’ Exemption
- ‘Consent’ Exemption
- ‘Devaluation’ Exemption
- ‘New Landlord’ Exemption
All exemptions generally last 5 years but often end if circumstances change during that period.
What are the penalties?
If landlords do not comply with the MEES and regulations, they will face penatlties and fines. Fines of up to £5,000 can be enforced, depending on the type of infringement and the length of non-compliance. A tenant can raise a case with the First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber if they feel a landlord is non-compliant.
What are the next steps?
Landlords and their agents need to check their current EPCs to ensure that they are compliant. A landlord may be required to undertake cost-effective improvements to their properties, unless they are exempt.
Landlords who haven’t yet had to comply with MEES as their tenants or tenancy terms have not changed, will need to act now.
At Assessment Hive, we strongly recommend speaking to an energy assessor prior to carrying out any works. We recently had a landlord that achieved an F rating who contacted us prior to commencing the improvement works. For less than £200, we helped the landlord achieve a D rating.
What does the future hold
The UK has recently passed a net zero emission law and committing to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.
It has been suggested that a minimum rating of C will be required of all rented homes by 2030. It can therefore be expected that the rules in England and Wales will become stricter.
Rather than getting improvement works done when laws are passed and prices go up due to a spike in the demand for contractors, landlords should start doing their homework and improve the energy efficiency of their properties.
Ultimately, the ‘costs’ in improvement works is an investment for the landlord to generate higher rental income in the future.
Your Go-To Property Certificate Provider
At Assessment Hive, we can help with assessments and certificates of all kinds for your property, and our assessors can visit and provide reports within just 24 hours. If any issues are discovered during an assessment, we can get it fixed quickly and easily. What’s more, if any reports do fail and need remedial action, we won’t charge you again for the pass certificate – we’re simply here to make being a landlord less stressful and more profitable.