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  • How to improve EPC Rating and why you need to act now

    How to improve EPC rating

    As a landlord, it's important to understand how to improve your EPC rating. The more you know, the better off you'll be. With new requirements on the horizon, now has never been a better time to boost your home’s overall efficiency.

    In 2007, the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) was introduced as a way for landlords to demonstrate that their properties are energy efficient. The EPC is designed to raise energy awareness and encourage greener behaviour. Landlords can use the EPC certificate to market their properties to potential tenants who may be motivated by an improved EPC rating.

    Through an inspection, a qualified assessor will determine a property's energy efficiency and assign a letter grade. The numbers in each ranking correspond to the government's Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and range from 1 to 100. These scores are classified into the following categories:

    A - EPC rating - 92-100 SAP points (most efficient)

    B - EPC rating - 81-91 SAP points

    C - EPC rating - 69-80 SAP points

    D - EPC rating - 55-68 SAP points

    E - EPC rating - 39-54 SAP points

    F - EPC rating - 21-38 SAP points

    G - EPC rating - 1-20 SAP points (inefficient)

    The current minimum requirement is E, but this will increase to C in 2025, raising the bar even higher for many landlords. As a result, buildings that are not already C-rated by 2025 may require renovations to meet the new standards and improve EPC ratings.

    What is an EPC certificate?

    EPC certificates are documents that contain information about a building's energy efficiency and energy consumption over a period of time. They are created by accredited assessors who conduct an examination of the property under their scope, using the data obtained from direct measurements.

    The results are given in different categories that are assigned scores based on how efficient or inefficient the house is at using its energy resources. These scores are then compiled into a final rating that ranges between A and G (with A being the most efficient). 

    As a landlord, you should always be aware of ways to improve your energy performance certificate (EPC) rating. As of 2025, if a building receives a rating below C, it won't be considered fit for occupation and you will need to improve your EPC rating before it can be sold or rented out. The new regulations will first apply to new tenancies, and then to all tenancies by 2028.

    To achieve this rating you need to ensure that you have installed eco-friendly appliances such as condensing boilers for your hot water and heating systems. These appliances are more expensive upfront than traditional boilers, but they are cheaper in the long run as they use less energy, therefore reducing your overall costs.

    Why are landlords getting fined over their EPC rating?

    If your property does not have a valid Energy Performance Certificate, it cannot be legally let. Your local authorities may fine you up to £5,000 if you don't have an EPC or don't comply with the government's new Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations.

    Your EPC is valid for 10 years after it is issued. If your certificate is older than 10 years, you will need to acquire a new one before you can sell or rent your home. The penalty for not having a valid EPC of 'C' or higher will be increased to £30,000 when the regulations are updated in 2025.

    The government are imposing fines as an incentive to improve the energy efficiency of all properties. This means that landlords are being held responsible for the unsatisfactory energy performance of their properties. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus tackle climate change.

    The benefits of renting an energy-efficient property

    When you're looking for a place to live, you have probably heard of the benefits of renting an energy-efficient property. Renting a house or apartment that uses green technology is good for you, the environment and your wallet. Energy-efficient homes cost less to heat and cool, which leaves more room in your budget for other things.

    They also help protect the environment in the long run by reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the air, which are linked to global warming. Reducing your carbon footprint by renting energy-efficient property not only benefits you–but future generations as well.

    It is worth noting that EPCs are not simply about energy efficiency - factors such as ventilation and condensation all count towards your rating. However, with energy efficiency measures costing little to implement, there's no reason why you can't boost your home's EPC rating. 

    Top tips on how to improve your EPC rating

    As the government sets higher standards for energy efficiency in properties, landlords are faced with the challenge of finding ways to improve EPC rating. Fortunately, there are easy changes that can be made to both your building and the tenant's appliances that can help you reach the new standard.

    1. Make sure your home is properly insulated

    Making sure your loft insulation is at least 270mm thick is a smart approach to improve your EPC rating. The roof loses a quarter of the heat in a home. Loft insulation is simple to install and a low-cost starting point when it comes to improving your home's energy efficiency.

    2. Replace an old boiler with an energy-efficient model

    Your EPC score will be significantly reduced if your boiler is old and inefficient. Replacing it with an energy-efficient model will improve your EPC rating considerably. You can also improve SAP points even further by using an intelligent thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves. 

    An EPC rating is based on the cost of energy used to power your heating system. Because heating accounts for 55% of your energy costs, this is where huge savings can be made to your bills and EPC ratings.

    3. Upgrade to double-glazed windows

    Older windows can account for up to 40% of heat loss in your home. Installing high-performance glazing can dramatically improve a home's energy efficiency.

    4. LED bulbs should be used in place of halogen spotlights

    In comparison to a halogen bulb, which has a working life of only two years, an LED light can last for 20-30 years. Installing LED bulbs in all lighting fixtures is a cheap and simple way to slightly improve your EPC rating.

    5. Use renewable energy sources

    When considering how to improve your EPC rating, adding ground source heat pumps or solar panels to your home is another option for improving your energy rating and saving money on your energy costs.

    6. Install a smart meter

    Smart meters are an excellent method to show your renters how much energy they consume while also pushing them to change their habits to be less wasteful. It's amazing how economical a person can become when they can see the exact cause and effect of their behaviours, and how it connects to the amount of spare money they have at the end of the month!

    7. Exposed chimneys are an EPC-killer.

    Another way to improve your EPC rating is by sealing exposed chimneys. While draughty chimneys may seem like a minor inconvenience, the truth is that they let in a lot of cold air and are the leading cause of condensation inside the property. When you have condensation, you have mould, and when you have mould, your home's EPC rating is going to suffer.

    Dealing with this effectively means you need to address both ends: by blocking off any open fires and sealing up your chimney entirely, you can prevent a lot of cold air from coming into the house. If it's impossible to seal completely, then place a closed heater in the fireplace as close to the source as possible. This will help keep warm air in and cold air out of your home.

    As we've established, there are a lot of ways on how to improve EPC rating. So what are you waiting for? Get started today, and see how much of an impact it can have on your property.

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