Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) contains information about a property’s energy efficiency, including a rating on a scale from A-G.
In general, all properties in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that are being built, or that will be sold or let, require an EPC (unless they can claim an exemption). The regulations require a rental property to have a minimum EPC rating in certain parts of the UK.
Landlords who fail to meet the EPC regulations could face enforcement action and could be fined.
Current EPC rules
In England and Wales, all rental properties must achieve a minimum EPC rating of E or above, unless they can claim an exemption.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, all rental properties must have an EPC in place, but there is currently no overall minimum rating that must be achieved.
Landlords across the UK are required to get a new EPC every 10 years.
Proposed changed to EPC rules are not happening
A consultation exercise regarding the minimum efficiency standards for rental properties in England and Wales closed in January 2021. This included a proposal that rental properties in England and Wales would need an EPC rating of C or above.
However, the UK government announced on 20 September 2023 that there will be no change to the minimum EPC rating required for rental properties in England and Wales. This means that current legislation remains in force.
You can search for a property's energy performance certificate by using the government’s website.
You will need the postcode, street name or town for the property that you are checking.
An EPC is produced by a qualified Energy Assessor who will visit the property and make their assessment of the property. The cost of an Energy Assessor can vary widely depending on location, so it is worth shopping around when you look for one.
Each EPC is valid for ten years unless major renovation work is carried out on the property. Property owners can also choose to get an updated EPC if they have installed energy efficiency measures – particularly if these improve the energy rating. If a newer EPC has been produced for a home within the ten-year period, only the most recent one is valid.
There are a number of ways to potentially make a property more efficient, and these will be reflected in recommendations captured by the Energy Assessor after they conduct their assessment of the property. These could include better wall insulation, double glazing or a new and more efficient boiler.
For more information on energy efficiency, you could try visiting the Energy Savings Trust website for helpful advice and tips.
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