With the rules set to change in 2025, Landlords are now nervously scrambling to scrape together the funds needed to renovate their properties to meet the minimum energy efficiency standards, also known as MEES.
There are also certain exemptions that Landlords can request to give them more time to meet the criteria set.
So, let’s dive into this blog to explore some solutions you can use to bolster your property’s EPC rating. Some are surpringsly cost effective!
How to Improve EPC Rating
What is an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
By law, every property in the UK requires an EPC (also known as an Energy Performance Certificate.)
The purpose of such is to demonstrate the energy efficiency & typical energy consumption of the property it’s linked to.
Doing so can benefit both Landlords & tenants alike. Tenants will be able to effectively predict the general energy costs that the property requires whereas the Landlord is able to use the EPC rating to make suggested improvements.
Especially considering the regulations that are set to fall into place in 2025, enforcing that all rental properties meet a minimum EPC rating of C and above.
If you own commercial properties, you may be unaware of the MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) deadline on the 1st April 2023, which forbids the letting of commercial properties with ‘sub-standard’ energy ratings.
Replace Single Glazed Windows
Having single glazed windows in your property can be detrimental towards your properties’ EPC rating.
Single glazed windows aren’t very effective as they can allow heat to escape quite easily. Replacing single glazed windows with double or triple glazing can be a more energy efficient choice.
Whilst the impact double or triple glazing can have on your EPC rating isn’t ‘monumental’ so to speak, quality glazed windows can help keep heat contained within the property, lessening the need for additional energy consumption.
If your property is older, it’s worth checking whether your windows are already double glazed and whether the quality of said windows are up to the task as installing the right style of window can help save almost £200 per year.
Control Your Heating
Heating controls like Google Nest or other similar products can also contribute to becoming more energy efficient as they allow you to have full control of your heating system even when you’re away from home.
Lower temperatures mean less emissions & energy consumption, which means lower bills & a better EPC rating. Did you know that cranking your thermostat down by 1 degree can save almost £150 a year?
In the winter months, heating systems can be overused & pushed to the max, shortening your boiler’s lifespan in the process too.
As a Landlord, this means frequent callouts, repairs & potential breakdowns which’ll break the bank if you aren’t careful.
If you think this is up your street, you’ll definitely want to check out our other tips on saving money on your energy bills.
Swap out lighting for a low energy alternative.
Switching out existing bulbs and fixtures for a lower energy alternative can be one of the quickest ways to boost your properties’ EPC rating.
The average property can benefit & save around £60-70 per year. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’ll all add up!
Condensing boilers - are they the way forward?
You’ll usually find that older properties host heating systems that aren’t as energy efficient as their modern counterparts. If you have an older property, you might find that the boiler system is probably due an upgrade.
Swapping out that clunky old boiler for a condensing boiler can contribute massively to a better EPC rating, however, condensing boilers usually have pretty hefty price tags attached to them.
The cost for switching over from an old system to an A-rated gas boiler system (including thermostatic valves) will set you back around £4000 initially, but will save you approximately £500-600 a year on your energy bills.
A common suggestion you’ll often find within an EPC is to install wall insulation on internal/external walls if you haven’t already got it.
You’ll be interested to know that a third of escaped heat in uninsulated homes is through the walls.
Most properties in the United Kingdom have cavity walls, meaning that there’s a pocket of air between them. Filling these voids with a quality insulation can save you approximately £500-600 a year and will certainly contribute to a better EPC rating.
It’s also incredibly cheap to get sorted, usually falling in at around £200 per each two storey wall. You could find yourself quickly reimbursed as well, definitely making it a worthwhile investment.
Unlike wall insulation, most homes in the United Kingdom will already have some form of loft insulation installed, though some will argue that it’s not nearly enough to have an impact on your properties’ EPC.
Most houses will have at least 120mm worth of loft insulation installed. In order to maximize efficiency, it’s recommended that you top this up to at least 270mm which is bound to have more of an impact.
If your loft isn’t prone to damp or condensation, it should be pretty cheap to install too. Depending on the materials you use, you could find yourself spending from £170 to £1700 on an average terraced house.
Insulate Cylinder Systems
Cylinder systems can expel quite a lot of heat when in use if not insulated properly, which is why we recommend buying an insulation jacket.
Fitting your cylinder with an 80mm insulation jacket can reveal savings of up to £70 a year.
It’s definitely worth doing considering that a British Standard cylinder jacket only costs around £20 as a one off purchase from most major retailers like Wickes or Screwfix.