Last year at a debate between the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and the then former chancellor Rishi Sunak stated that millions of households in the UK are without proper insulation which results in more energy being used up to keep these homes heated, which in turn have a marked cost involved. And in the event of not being able to afford and keep the home at a higher temperature, the occupants could be living in damp, unhealthy environments.
With this in mind, in this article we look at 5 pointers as to why we need to be aware about energy saving and energy performance certificates when selling a property in the UK.
If you are building, selling or renting a property, you will need to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate or better known as an EPC. This certification will be usually displayed for inspection preferably near an electricity meter. The EPC contains information about how much of energy is utilised by the building and even recommendations as to how to reduce and optimise energy.
This begins with a definite ‘Yes you do need an EPC’. If you are the owner of a property and intend on selling or renting it, you will be required to obtain an EPC. Getting an EPC is compulsory in the UK . Buy-to-let or BTL landlords will have to be acutely aware of the EPC’s importance since they are seeking to rent out their premises for business. The EPC evaluation is done with gradings from A to G. Currently all landlords are required to have at least an ‘E’ grading as a minimum to be able to qualify to rent out, or sell their property. By getting an EPC, your prospective client will have an idea as to how efficient your property is and how much they will be able to save as a tenant. And this implies the essentiality of getting an EPC.
As we’ve seen already, all buildings and properties being rented out, sold or built need to have the EPC approved. With the UK government implementing better strategies to harness optimised energy usage, there are some regulations that you may need to remember if you’re a landlord with a property to sell or rent. The current rating for an approved EPC rating is grade ‘E’, however this is expected to change and all rental properties will be required to have a rating of above ‘C’ by the year 2028. Which means that all landlords will have to ensure that their properties are equipped with the right solutions in order to meet the future demands of EPC for their properties.
It must be kept in mind that failing to comply with the given regulations can result in a hefty fine of £30,000 from 2028 onwards. The current fine can be anywhere between £500 and £5,000 depending on the value of the building.
An EPC is issued only by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor. You may have to contact you local authority to find an assessor in your area.
The assessor will determine if your building is equipped with energy saving improvements. According to your building’s implements he may recommend certain changes to be carried out. They may typically include the following depending if you have already complied with some of the recommendations:
- Insulation for piping and tanks
- Wall and loft insulation
- Optimising water usage (reduced water usage)
- Renewable energy sources such as wood fuelled heating, solar power, etc.
- Energy efficient glazing
- Usage of low usage light bulbs
The EPC comes with recommendations to improve existing changes carried out in the building. Consider this as good input to implement environmentally friendly changes that optimise energy usage and conserve without waste.
The EPC when issued, it has a validity of ten years. You won’t need to renew it again unless you enter into a new agreement with a new tenant. You will also have to renew your EPC in the event you decide on selling off the property.
EPC is a great way of gaining a better way of living in your home or building. It points out how buildings are expected to function with minimum impact on our already sensitive environment. Green initiatives are everywhere and complying to them is our responsibility after all. In a highly populated city like London, EPC compliance only paves the way for healthier and cleaner living.
The future for EPC compliance is getting even stricter with A – G gradings being heightened to meet lower energy utilisation and costs. Landlords need to be updated as to what EPC will bring in the near future, in 2028 to be exact. Changes to existing buildings therefore will need to begin as soon as possible.
|YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.
* Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 26 July 2023