Previously, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) was a document which appeared at the point of sale to, essentially, tick a box on a list of selling requirements – now it is an essential part of the management of a property’s energy efficiency. As detailed in Part one of this series (which you can read by following this link), the rules are getting stricter and landlords are encouraged to take action in advance of the enforcement of the rules on 1 April 2023.
So, how does a landlord improve the energy efficiency of their property - and at what cost?
The good news is that a proactive landlord who acts now has plenty of time in which to make the necessary improvements. Many improvements are relatively inexpensive. When an EPC is commissioned, the associated assessment looks at the plant and structure of the site and not energy expenditure (as that is relative to who is in occupation of the property). An old EPC for a property may be out of date not just due to the day month and year it was carried out, but in the way the property was assessed – potentially on a remote basis adopting wild assumptions.
5 simple steps to improve your EPC:
1. Lighting – check that the lighting is energy efficient as it may not have been updated for many years, particularly for a property let on a long lease
2. Insulation – check what insulation there is– if none, install some and if the insulation is old, replace it.
3. Technology – consider installing a smart system to control energy use
4. Hot water – swap a conventional cylinder (which is heated up regularly but water usage is low) to an on demand hot water supply
5. Learn about your building – visit it, inspect it and learn about it so that you can provide the EPC assessor with as much information as possible to lead, hopefully, to a more accurate, and better, EPC rating.
Any landlord should check the terms of their lease prior to inspecting and/or carrying out any improvement works to ensure they have sufficient rights to do so. They should also check whether the tenant owes any obligation to carry out such works, where any costs can be recouped by the tenant and whether a tenant needs to be consulted and supplied with documentation through the process.
If you would like me to assist with a review of your lease please do get in touch.