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How changing EPC regulations could impact you

EPC regulations are changing to push towards more energy efficient homes. We share everything you need to know and how that could impact you in our article.

4 min read

Whether you’re a homeowner, landlord or a private tenant, it’s really important that you’re aware of recent changes to EPC requirements and how they impact you. The press isn’t short of murmurings about EPC ratings but, for the uninitiated, this stands for ‘Energy Performance Certificate’. In a nutshell, it’s an assessment of how energy efficient your home is in grades from A to G. Recent changes to the rules and regulations surrounding EPC requirements may pose challenges and opportunities. We’ll run you through what these changes are and how best to meet them.

So, what are the changes to EPC regulations?

April 2023 saw changes to EPC regulations that have further restricted the trading or leasing of buildings that don’t comply with requirements. This is specifically in relation to commercial buildings that fall below a Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) of an E-rated EPC.

However, it’s not limited to commercial buildings. By December 2028, all existing privately rented properties will require an EPC rating of C or above provided that they aren’t exempt. Properties are rarely eligible for exemption from this rule but in some cases it is granted.

For example, if you can prove that you’ve taken all the recommended and necessary steps to improve the EPC rating of your property but it still sits at a level E or below, you may be deemed exempt. This will still mean that other properties that do not meet this EPC rating will not be eligible for being rented out. These requirements will be in place as soon as December 2025, leaving little time to make the meaningful adaptations necessary to make buildings compliant.

Why are the changes to EPC regulations significant?

When it comes to the energy efficiency of many existing homes throughout the UK, a lot is going to have to change in a relatively short space of time. Depending on how inefficient your property or properties are when it comes to energy, you might have quite a task on your hands to ensure that they’re compliant.

If you’re a landlord, your property’s EPC should be a priority as unless it meets the standards you will not be able to sell or lease it which will obviously mean losing revenue. And, as energy efficiency standards increase in general, tenants will yield more power to choose between properties that guarantee higher rates of energy efficiency.

If you’re still uncertain as to whether or not these new requirements apply to your property, the Gov.uk guidance is that you ask yourself two sets of questions: 1) is your property let as a domestic tenancy and 2) is the property legally required to have an EPC? To read more about the particulars for these questions, follow this link.

How do I find out my EPC rating?

To find out your current EPC rating, residents of England, Wales and Northern Ireland can find out here. If you’re yet to have your property formally evaluated, you’ll need to arrange an assessment. Two key factors will be being evaluated during your appointment: the amount of energy used per square metre and an estimate of annual carbon dioxide emissions.

There are also companies like Kuppa that are dedicated to identifying issues in your home and demystifying the ways to address and improve them. Their goals are to improve how efficiently your home is run, reduce your carbon footprint – and your bills while you’re at it! The highly personalised advice offered by Kuppa is easy-to-understand and designed to guide you practically on a path to improving your property’s EPC.

What steps do I take to comply with the new EPC regulations?

Once you’ve carried out your EPC assessment, you should receive results along with recommendations to improve the rating. This will include the predicted upfront costs to make the changes, an estimate of the savings you’re likely to make annually because of them and a prediction of which rating these changes may take you up to. The changes can include anything from installing solar panels and cavity wall insulation to investing in window vents and extractor fans.

Solar panels to improve your EPC rating

Why now is the perfect time to address EPC compliance:

Besides the obvious answer that time is of the essence when it comes to tackling climate change, if your property isn’t yet meeting the EPC rating requirements for trading or leasing, improving your EPC could actually benefit the wellbeing of those who live there. Yes, really! We conducted a survey of over 2,000 homeowners throughout the UK and found that one of people’s chief concerns with their homes is the temperature of our homes in winter (almost 75% of us!). This is a direct connection with exactly the kind of energy inefficiency of UK properties that the new EPC regulations are trying to address.

The good news is that, if you’ve been considering renovating or extending your property anyway, it could be a fantastic opportunity to coincide any work with improving its energy efficiency (this is otherwise known as ‘retrofitting’.

Book a free advice call with one of our in-house experts to talk through your big ideas and see how we can help bring your happy – and energy efficient home – to life!

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