Energy Performance Certificate Minimum Rating Change

All tenancies in England and Wales must have an EPC rating of at least ‘E.’ The rule, which became law in April 2020, is in a bid to ensure all residential and commercial tenancies reach a minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES). This embraces the government’s green initiatives by making tenancies more energy efficient. At the same time tenants welcome the fact that their utility bills will be far lower as a result. 

EPC Non Compliance Penalties

The law applies to Domestic properties in the private rental sector and residences which are leasehold from between six months to 99 years. 

Landlords who fail to ensure an E grading or above will face court fines of up to £5,000 and won’t be able to rent out the property. Before April this year the ruling only applied to new tenancies. Now, however, it applies to all tenancies – that means existing tenancies too. 

The law also states that landlords must renew the Energy Performance Certificate for each individual property at least every decade. And by which time, the rating will probably have gone up to a D. 

In April 2020, the new MEES rules will apply to all existing lets. At this point, you will need an EPC rating of an E or above to let your property at all. 

How to Increase Your Property’s Epc Rating

There are a number of green energy initiatives you can take up to boost the energy rating of your rental. Below are some of those – all of which will make a difference to your rating. If you do carry out green measures, you’ll have to get another EPC to prove they have indeed improved that rating. 

  • Increasing the loft insulation in a property up to 270mms will cost from £100 to £350. 
  • Fitting a dual immersion cylinder and high heat retention storage heaters costs from £800 to £1200. 
  • Double glazing will cost from £3,300 to £6,500 
  • Wall insulation is around £4,000 to £14,000 

When You Don’t Have to Boost the Energy Rating 

The government has recognised that there may be occasions when it might not be practical to boost a property’s energy rating. This includes when the green improvements will result in damage or a loss of value to the property (and which could be the case with a listed, historic building).  

Another reason for not complying could be that the money you spend on the improvements is not going to prove cost-effective ie you won’t see a return on spend within at least seven years.  

And finally, if you can’t get consent from your lender to go ahead and carry out the green improvements then it is also acceptable to continue with an E rating. 

However, it’s not enough to just agree that your property falls under one of the above reasons – you must let the government know. This is done by registering on the PRS Exemptions Register, and for which you require proof. 

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