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Expensive Pointless Certificates? An EPC review

Expensive Pointless Certificates? An EPC review

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is now a crucial document in the British property market, providing vital information about energy efficiency for buildings and dwellings. An EPC must be provided to buyers or tenants when a property is sold or rented out.

The certificates aim to raise awareness about energy consumption, promote energy-saving measures, and contribute to the country's efforts in reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.

Ratings

The EPC rates the property's energy efficiency on a scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and includes recommendations for improving its energy performance. These recommendations can cover various aspects, such as insulation, heating systems, lighting, and renewable energy options. 

Exemptions

There are several instances in which an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is not required. These include:

[1] If the building is listed or officially protected and the minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter it.

[2] If it is a temporary building only going to be used for 2 years or less.

[3] If it is used as a place of worship or for other religious activities.

[4] Where improvements are made to a property but it still doesn’t meet the minimum EPC rating,

[5] Where work would damage or devalue the building, or where necessary third-party permission cannot be obtained.

The original EPC regulation gave landlords until 2025 to ensure their rating was above level C.  That deadline has now been put back to 2028. This has implications for landlords in terms of planning and finance.

Implications for Landlords:

1. Extended time frame for Property Upgrades. The postponement offers a welcome time extension to improve energy efficiency, making properties more appealing to environmentally-conscious tenants and reducing operational costs over time.

2. Present responsibilities. It remains mandatory for landlords to possess a current valid EPC with a rating of “E” or above when renting out a property.

3. Financial Planning and Budgeting. This additional time can be used to revise financial plans, raise finance and allocate resources for property upgrades. 

4. Collaborative engagement with tenants. Landlords now have longer to engage with their tenants and establish positive relationships. Tenants should also be consulted on energy saving strategies.

To ensure compliance, landlords need to continue meeting existing EPC requirements while capitalizing on the extended timeframe to make property upgrades that enhance energy efficiency. Proactive investment in sustainable measures should attract environmentally-conscious tenants and help ‘future-proof’ property portfolios against potential regulatory shifts. Landlords who embrace energy efficiency will be better equipped to meet tenant expectations and succeed in a landscape increasingly focused on sustainability. By working collaboratively with tenants, landlords can foster a culture of responsible energy usage that benefits all stakeholders involved.

 

-HANNAH G-


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