Landlords Urged To Think Green And Get Ahead Of The Game With Planned EPC Changes

With the disruption caused across the UK by protestors over the past few months, it’s hard to ignore the issue of climate change.

According to the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, homes were responsible for 15% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, so more steps are likely to be taken by the government to encourage homeowners to invest in energy-saving measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation, energy-efficient boilers and replacement windows.

In Scotland, plans to introduce minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements for rented properties in 2022 have been postponed due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. A minimum D rating was proposed for all new tenancies from next year, but now a minimum C rating could become mandatory from 2025.

Landlords urged to make green changes to their properties

But with many properties in Edinburgh still falling outside of the rating, Clan Gordon is urging landlords to think ahead and consider making greener choices with property renovations and maintenance now ahead of the deadline.

The Scottish government plans to carry out a consultation next year on requiring all properties (not only the rental sector) in Scotland to meet a minimum C rating in the future, and it has already committed to achieving net-zero emissions from domestic and non-domestic buildings by 2045.

Under current plans, all properties in the private rented sector will be expected to have an EPC rating of C or above by 2028, but there will be exemptions for those where it is not technically feasible or cost-effective to meet the standard.

In England and Wales, similar plans are in place. Rented homes are currently required to have an E rating, but new legislation under government review pushes this up to a C for new tenancies from December 2025 and for all rented properties from December 2028.

A further recommendation states that all properties should have a ‘B’ rating by 2030. The legislation, known as the Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings Bill, is currently passing through Parliament and is expected to become law to help achieve the ambitious government target to reach zero net carbon emissions by 2050.

How do Edinburgh landlords meet EPC requirements?

So what should Edinburgh landlords do to get ahead of the game and make sure they’re not disadvantaged when new EPC requirements come in? Making the necessary changes could have a considerable financial impact. In some cases, tenants would need to move out for work to take place, so landlords would be spending money while not receiving an income from rent payments. Therefore, it’s worth planning an ongoing work scheme to achieve the required standard in the scheduled time frame – three years isn’t long!

As Edinburgh’s leading letting agent, we recommend reviewing three key elements that contribute to the energy efficiency of a property:

  1. Insulation– are the walls, floors, and loft well insulated?
  2. Windows and doors– are windows and doors double or triple glazed??
  3. Heating system– are the boiler and radiators energy efficient?

Making small incremental improvements can have a big impact on energy efficiency, such as putting thermostatic valves on radiators or replacing a draughty front door. Around 20% of a property’s heat is lost through the roof, so loft insulation is a good option, and fitting an energy-efficient boiler or heating system is crucial to achieve a higher EPC rating.

Check out the Energy Saving Trust website for advice on how to make energy-saving improvements. If you’re looking for a letting agent who you can rely on to take care of this for you, schedule a call with our award-winning property management team at Clan Gordon. We’re currently offering a £250 thank you to all new landlords who switch from their existing letting agent.

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