The EPC Contribution to Net-Zero
Up until recently, landlords had been preparing for a change in regulation for the role of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), but last month, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak scrapped the proposed plans that formed part of the UK’s net-zero efforts. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the importance of EPCs and the recent U-turn by the Prime Minister on EPCs.
The Significance of EPCs
EPCs provide valuable information about the energy efficiency of a property. Ratings are applied to a building, which indicates how energy-efficient it is, with ‘A’ being the most efficient and ‘G’ the least. EPCs consider factors such as insulation, heating systems, and renewable energy sources, among others, to assess a property’s energy efficiency
The Prime Minister’s U-Turn
The Government’s change of heart meant plans to enforce new EPC standards for privately rented properties were halted. Currently, all rental properties should be rated an ‘E’ or above to be deemed suitable for tenants. The proposed changes were to increase this to a minimum rating of ‘C’ (unless the property was classified as exempt) but this has since been scrapped.
The justification for the U-turn included the additional costs that landlords would incur to make improvements to their rental properties, which would inevitably be passed onto tenants in the guise of increased rents.
Instead, the Government is focusing on other strategies to encourage homeowners to improve efficiency ratings. Additional funds are being allocated to support homeowners, including grants for insulation, renewable energy installations, and other energy-saving measures. Also, penalties for properties with low EPC ratings and incentives for those with high ratings may be introduced, along with an investment in creating more awareness as to the benefits for homeowners and tenants.
Our View on the Changes to EPC Regulations
Many of our landlords are breathing a sigh of relief. Over recent years, margins have been squeezed, and some investors are barely breaking even. Many landlords are already exiting the rental market and this initiative might have encouraged even more to sell up – resulting in rental values increasing even further.
That said, we are of course disappointed that the UK’s net-zero ambitions could be impacted and hope that other measures will be put in place to protect the planet and the tenants who live in rented properties.
The role of EPCs in reducing carbon emissions, cutting energy costs, and boosting property values should not be ignored and we will continue to support landlords who need to make energy-efficiency improvements to their properties.
For more information on the importance of EPCs and their impact on the real estate market, you can visit domvs.co.uk’s page on the importance of EPCs.