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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards - what you need to know

Minimum energy efficiency standards

The introduction of legislation to improve the energy efficiency of rented homes, means that all properties must now have an energy rating of at least an E before new tenancy can be granted. Further changes are set to come in during 2020, when all rented homes, even those with an existing tenant, must have an energy efficiency rating of E or above.

As a landlord, knowing what these changes in legislation means for your rental property is crucial. Here are our top tips and advice when it comes to understanding Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards:

Your current Energy Performance Rating

You can’t improve without measuring. If you haven’t done so already, the first thing to do is find out what the current Energy Performance Rating is for your property. Operating on behalf of the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, you can find out your current score at http://www.epcregister.com/.

Is your Energy Performance Certificate valid?

All properties should have a valid Energy Performance Certificate. If the certificate on your property has expired, it’s important to have an energy assessor complete an energy performance survey as soon as possible. This will give your property a current energy assessment rating which could be anywhere between A and G, and provide you with suggestions for how you can improve your score. 

Does your rating impact your ability to rent?

If your property has an energy performance rating of an F or a G, you’ll be unable to grant a new tenancy without improving your rating first.

How to improve the energy efficiency rating of your property

Depending on your time and budget, there are a variety of ways in which you can improve your energy efficiency rating, including:

  • Draught Proofing
  • Improved insulation
  • Heating controls
  • Renewable technologies
  • Low energy lighting
  • Installing draught excluders
  • Sealing gaps in loft hatches, doors and popes
  • Installing a condensing boiler

Exemptions

If the cost of raising the Energy Performance rating of a property exceeds £3,500 plus Vat, it is placed on the exemption register for five years.

According to gov.uk properties are also exempt from needing an EPC if owners can prove they fall into one of the following categories:

  • A temporary building being used for 2 years or less
  • Used as a place of worship or for other religious activities
  • An industrial site, workshop or non-residential agricultural building that doesn’t use much energy
  • A detached building with a total floor space under 50 square meters
  • Due to be demolished by the seller or landlord and they have all the relevant planning and conservation consents

Whatever the efficiency status and rating of your let property, haart can help.  We work with energy efficiency practitioners across the UK who can assess your property and make recommendations for how you can improve its energy efficiency.