EPC Certificates - What are the new regulations?
You may have heard the term EPC more and more recently since the Government have proposed a new regulation to be brought into play in the next few years. Though not currently a plan that has been made into law, the Government has proposed that by April 2025, newly rented properties in England and Wales will need to meet a minimum EPC standard of C – tougher than the current E standard.
So what is an EPC Certificate?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement for property owners, rating how efficient properties are starting from A (the best) to G (the worst). EPCs are important tools, both as the main measure for the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regime, and as a driver for other ESG-related regulation in the property industry. Given this, it is vital that they provide an accurate and reliable assessment of the energy efficiency of a building.
Sustainability has long been a tenant and consumer priority and there is now a greater focus on landlords making their property portfolios more energy efficient. With property demand set to remain strong in the years ahead, it’s essential that the industry continues to meet future consumer eco-friendly demands through actions such as improving insulation and installing new boilers and heating systems.
Despite there being support for making the property market greener, there remains a worrying lack of awareness among landlords about the upcoming changes to EPC regulations, not to mention how they can make the necessary renovations. With the deadline for the new regulations just over two years away, it’s clear that more support is needed.
Preparing for change
As a plan not yet set in stone, the proposed EPC changes have definitely shaken up the property market and its clear that clarity on the detail of the policies outlined above and future EPC assessment methods is urgently needed from the government so that the property industry can plan accordingly.
Landlords need to be prepared. EPC rules coming into play will require many landlords to make costly improvements on their properties, and in some cases, this will be too much for them to manage. In the current climate, many landlords will not have the capital available to make the changes their properties need, with it costing potentially tens of thousands of pounds for some to get their efficiency levels up to a C. Some landlords may even struggle to achieve the minimum standard due to the structure of their property, so clarification from the Government is immediately needed for action to take place in a reasonable time.
Energy strategies, planning and policy development are currently being undertaken by a newly formed Department for Energy Security and Net-Zero. We must wait to see whether it can bring that clarity swiftly to the industry.
How can Elliot Leigh help?
As always, we are finding new ways to support our landlords and this doesn’t stop at guaranteeing rent. Sign up to our newsletter to get updates on how we will be helping landlords to prepare for EPC changes.
In the meantime you can get ahead of the game now; find out what your property’s energy efficiency rating is, and make improvements where you can afford to. You can find your property's EPC on the government's website.