Efficiency Issues: EPC Challenges and Concerns
In 2025, the criteria for the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will change.
Private owners will have to take greater responsibility for the efficiency of their properties due to changing government regulations.
What exactly is changing? From 2025, EPC ratings for new lease-purchase agreements will be required to have an EPC rating of “C” or higher.
This is an increase of 2 levels from the current minimum, which is at the “E” rating.
From 2028, all rental properties in the private rental sector will have to follow these new regulations.
What challenges does this new regulation pose for owners?
Consider the cost
One important factor that homeowners will need to start considering and preparing for – the cost of alterations to the property. For many owners, this comes at a difficult time.
The latest data from the National Residential Landlord Association (NRLA) shows that the pandemic has seen 23% of private landlords face a loss of rental income.
Fortunately, there are a range of different things homeowners can do to improve their energy efficiency, with a variety of price tags.
Changes such as heat pumps and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery systems (MVHR) can have huge impacts on a home’s efficiency and cost on average between £2,000 and £4,000 according to Checkatrade.
Smaller, cheaper options can range from including a smart meter (provided free by some power companies), to replacing all halogen bulbs with draft-proof LED bulbs. (professional draft proofing can cost around £200 for a whole house) and adding a mist shower to minimize water wastage.
While more expensive changes could include increased insulation (from £6,000 to £20,000 depending on the size of your property), adding solar panels, installing a new boiler or including windows to double/triple glazing (potentially £4,000-£7,500).
Properties with higher energy efficiency often translate to lower energy bills and with energy prices poised to skyrocket – investing in EPC upgrades now could be more attractive to potential tenants in a near future.
Refinancing of renovations
Although 2025 doesn’t seem like the near future, getting a head start could save money in the long run.
Now is the perfect time for homebuyers to start looking at residential EPC changes as an investment opportunity.
If you’re thinking of moving and renting out your current property, now would be a great time to remortgage.
Interest rates currently remain low, and even after a second prime rate hike in the last 3 months, now is the time to take advantage of competitive rates and raise capital by re-mortgaging a property.
This would therefore generate the sufficient funds needed for the potential works and begin their preparations for the change of EPC.
Plus, now is a great time to lock yourself into a long-term fixed product to protect against any future rate increases.