What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
An EPC gives information on how energy efficient a building is and how it could be improved. You need an EPC when you are renting a property to a new tenant The EPC shows the building’s ‘energy efficiency rating’, which gives you an idea of how much fuel bills are likely to be and the building’s ‘environmental impact rating’, which shows how much the building affects the environment with CO2 emissions.
Both ratings are on a scale from A to G, with A being the best. You’re also given a ‘potential’ rating, which is the rating the building could reach if the suggested improvements were made.It’s the law in Scotland to have the EPC ‘affixed’ to the building, building standards guidance suggests in the boiler or meter cupboard.
A ‘recommendations report’ is provided with an EPC. This gives more detailed information on the energy efficiency of the building, how to improve it and possible costs.
What are the changes?
The minimum energy efficiency level will be:
From 1 October 2020 all new lets will be required to have a minimum EPC rating of E and as of the 1 April 2022 all new lets must have a minimum EPC rating of D. The regulations provide that, subject to prescribed exceptions (set out below), a landlord must not grant a new tenancy after 1 October 2020 if the property doesn’t reach the minimum EPC requirements.
Types of exemption:
1) Consent (where a tenant will not allow access to the property)
2) Negative impact on fabric or structure of the property
3) Cost cap i.e. if work to reach the minimum EPC rating exceeds the following:
a.During 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2022 would exceed £5,000
b. After 31 March 2022 costs would exceed £10,000
4) Temporary exemption (for six months when a landlord purchases a property)
The regulations will see local authorities enforce these changes and if a landlord is in breach, it may issue a penalty notice of up to £5,000.
In some situations there will be exemptions, including where It is not technically feasible to carry out improvements, where other owners in a block of flats refuse consent to do work to common parts of the building, where tenants refuse consent for work, where permission to carry out work to a property which is listed or in a conservation area can’t be obtained, where the cost of improvements needed in the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2022 exceeds £5000, and where the cost of improvements needed in the period after 31 March 2022 exceeds £5000.
Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the standard and granting exemptions. Fines of up to £5000 can be levied on those owners who don’t comply with the minimum standard or provide false or misleading information on the exemptions register
It is estimated these proposed changes will improve the standard and fuel efficiency of approximately 68,000 properties in the private rented sector.