By reading this article you will understand what an energy performance certificate (EPC) is and why every rented property must have one. Furthermore, you will also learn what the penalties are if you are found to not be meeting regulations relating to EPCs.

What is an energy performance certificate?

The certificate shows how energy efficient a building is on a scale from A to G, with A being the best and G being the worst. They also identify changes that can be made to improve the energy efficiency of a building. They are required for selling or renting any commercial or domestic properties in England and Wales.

EPC Rating explained

What do landlords need to know?

Every landlord must adhere to the following (last updated: April 2019):

  • A valid energy performance certificate
    Since April 2008 every property must have a valid certificate.
  • Minimum rating
    From April 2018 onwards, rental properties must have a rating of E or higher, unless the property qualifies for exemption. A property is exempt if the landlord has spent up to £3,500 and the property still doesn’t meet the minimum rating. This came into force in April 2019 and is considered a ‘soft cap’.
  • Section 21 compliance
    Landlords in England from October 2015 must show potential or existing tenants a valid energy performance certificate. Failing to comply to this means that a valid Section 21 eviction notice cannot be served legally. This makes compliance a crucial element of every tenancy agreement.

When must a landlord renew an EPC?

Energy performance certificates last for 10 years unless major work has been undertaken on a property. However, if you undertake any work that is likely to change the EPC rating, it is recommended you apply for a new one.

Are there any penalties if you do not have EPC for rented property?

Trading Standards is responsible for enforcing relevant regulations and they can fine landlords £200 for every breach of the regulations in place. Furthermore, failing to meet minimum rating standards could result in a penalty of up to £4,000.

Can an EPC rating improve the value of a property?

According to research undertaken in the UK, the value of a home can be improved by increasing the EPC rating. For more information, see our dedicated article title ‘what is the value of improving your home’s EPC rating?’

How do I get an EPC?

Get an EPC Rating for your home:

Get in touch using our contact form for more information. We are certified assessors and can provide you with a valid EPC certificate.

Below is a breakdown of the different types of insulation you can get for your home and how much you can expect to save each year on your energy bill. Although we’ve listed savings as annual figures, you can expect an immediate saving on your energy bill after installation if you are using a pay-as-you-go or smart meter. This is because you will be using less energy, and it’s worth noting that savings are cumulative each time energy prices increase.

Note: all costs and savings are estimates and are based upon a semi-detached home in the UK.

1) Loft Insulation

Loft insulation involves placing sheets of insulation in your loft to stop heat from rising and escaping. It’s usually installed to a thickness of 270mm and can be one of the cheapest forms of insulation if you have a typical loft that hasn’t been converted into an extra room.

In addition to being one of the cheapest forms of insulation, it can also offer one of the quickest returns. For example, a semi-detached home that requires £300-worth of 270mm insulation can expect to save £130 a year on their energy bill.

2) Cavity Wall Insulation

The vast majority of homes built since the 1920s in the UK have had space, or cavity, between external walls. Cavity wall insulation fills this space to reflect heat back into your home in the winter and reflect heat from outside in the summer to keep your house cool.

There are many different forms of cavity wall insulation, as you can see below. But the most important information you can know is how much it typically costs and the expected saving on your energy bill:

  • The average cost for a semi-detached house: £475
  • Expected saving: £145

Types of cavity wall insulation:

  • Blown Mineral Fibre: strands of fibreglass or mineral wool that is blown in with compressed air
  • Polystyrene Beads/Granules: small beads that are blown into the cavity of walls
  • Urea Formaldehyde Foam: foam that expands after being injected into cavities

Regardless of the above methods mentioned, all of them are approved for use on UK homes and a competent installer will make sure the correct solution is applied.

3) Draught Proofing

Small draughts coming into your home from unwanted gaps or holes will not save you an eye-watering amount of money, but every little helps. If you were to spend around £200 on draught-proofing, you could expect an approximate saving of £20 per year on your energy bill. Furthermore, if you have open chimneys that are unused, closing each one could save you an extra £15 per year.

4) Solid Wall Insulation

More often referred to as external or internal wall insulation, it is for homes that do not have walls with cavities. It is the most expensive form of insulation on this list as it involves adding an extra layer to your wall. Costs can vary from £7,500 to £13,000 on a standard semi-detached home, but it has other benefits too.

If you were to opt for external wall insulation, the process involves cladding your home. This can give an old house a refreshing new look as tired paintwork or brickwork is covered up. The average saving energy bills is typically around £245 as a result of this work.

Undocumented Savings

In addition to saving on your energy bill, you can often expect the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of your home to increase.