Most landlords will now be aware of the new energy efficiency legislation coming into play in 2018. The legislation is called MEES – which stands for the ‘minimum energy efficiency standard’ and it was introduced in March 2015 by the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. Most landlords will now be aware of the new energy efficiency legislation coming into play in 2018. The legislation is called MEES – which stands for the ‘Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards’ – and it was introduced in March 2015 by the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015.
Basically, this new legislation stipulates that from 1st April 2018, landlords of buildings in scope of the MEES regulations must not renew existing tenancies or grant new tenancies if the building has less than the minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of E.
This means that if they rent a property in the private rental sector it basically needs to have a rating of E or better or else they won’t be able to rent it out!
So, the first thing you need to do is get your EPC rating – this can be found on the first page of the EPC report. It is likely if you are renting your property already, there will be an EPC already lodged on the government software. You can check for this by clicking here and entering your postcode and address.
If there is no valid EPC for your property, you will need to get a new one. An EPC report is valid for 10 years and we have assessors all over the country who can complete the EPC report for you – all at a fixed cost depending on the number of bedrooms – you can find more details on our residential EPC services by clicking here.
Once you have established your EPC rating – this will determine whether or not you need to take any action. So, should the number on the EPC report be 38 or less (i.e. Band F or G) then you will need to improve the energy efficiency of the property in question. If the rating is 39 or more (so band E or better) then you don’t need to do anything else to meet the legislation.
So, should you be in a position where you need to improve the energy efficiency of the property, which energy improvements will give you the biggest bang for your buck?
1. The biggest bang for your buck comes from updating an old heating system – it is pretty easy to gain a double digit improvement by installing a modern heating system. That means new storage heaters or a new condensing gas boiler. Most new boilers come with a 10 years warranty if you opt for a decent make like Worcester Bosch or Valliant – so opt for one of these if funds allow.
2. Swap all the lighting in the property for LED bulbs – this is really cheap to do since an LED bulb can cost as little as £1 now, but should you be hovering on an EPC score of 37 or 38 then it might just get you to a Band E (39 points).
3. Loft insulation is a really easy DIY job. Even if you buy the insulation online, the material prices will work out at just £5-10 per m2. This again can make significant improvements on your EPC score. It is worth mentioning though if you already have 150mm or more of loft insulation then adding an extra layer of insulation won’t really bring the rating up that much. If you have less than 100mm of loft insulation then this should definitely be considered.
4. There are still a few grants floating around for energy improvements so you can essentially get them installed for free. This is because the Government are very keen for overall energy demand to drop – so our advice here is get cavity wall insulation if possible. This is normally fully funded by ECO funding, and is a quick and easy way to boost the EPC rating on the property – again you can get double digit increases in the EPC rating if you can get this done.
5. The last suggestion might seem a bit strange, but get a decent company in to carry out the EPC survey. A decent surveyor will be able to input specific details about your property giving you potentially a higher rating. For example – did you ever put insulation under the floor, or insulate one particular wall? While most assessors will ignore this, a decent surveyor will be able to enter this detail into the Government approved software which will therefore give a more accurate (and normally higher) energy rating.
If you are interested in getting an EPC carried out on your property, or you would like London-EPC to help improve the energy efficiency of your property portfolio please get in touch. We work with TheGreenAge, which has a network of qualified installers up and down the country all approved and ready to provide quotes for energy improvement works.