From Sunday 1st April 2019 the EPC regulations will change, affecting at least 38% of current commercial UK properties, as well as residential properties, due to the governmental promise to try and tackle climate change by reducing emissions by 80% by 2050.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a certificate gained for a property showing the thermal efficiency of the entire property, and is a legal requirement for all leased properties, as well as those being marketed for sale.
Lasting for 10 years, an EPC is graded into seven current categories, A-G, with A being the most efficient and G the least efficient. It tells potential buyers or tenants about the typical energy use and cost, depending on which bracket they currently fall in, and which bracket the “potential” is, which can be achieved using energy saving techniques such as insulation.
Changes to the EPC Regulations
The EPC Regulations are changing to incorporate new leglislation which makes renting out an “F” or “G” rated property illegal. These ratings are the lowest possible energy ratings on an EPC certificate and data from the National EPC Register suggests that there are currently around 18% of commercially-let properties with this low, and soon-to-be illegal, rating.
This means that all properties must be of an “a” to “E” rating at minimum, otheriwse they won’t be able to be rented out, this applies to both commercial and residential properties.
It’s not applicable to sales, however, properties with these low ratings are sure to be less appealing to potential buyers, as they can’t let them out, or even have lodgers, until the EPC rating is brought up to code.
How will the EPC Regulations be enforced?
The new EPC regulations will be enforced by local authorities, so the local council that covers the area in which the property resides. They’ll have the power to issue compliance notices for properties which do not meet the new regulations, and penalty notices of up to £150,000 for those who don’t make the changes needed to improve the EPC rating.
How will the EPC Regulations affect property owners?
Despite the obvious cost to property owners that are caught by the EPC Regulations, the changes to the regulations could result in the following:
- Marketability of the affected properties could become impossible unless they are upgraded to meet the minimum standards.
• Valuations of such properties could be affected if their marketability is diminished; and
• Implications for dilapidations assessments and rent reviews.
What should property owners do?
These changes mean that property owners should now obtain EPC certificates before taking their property to market, and should have one done as soon as possible to see if any properties that are already being rented out meet the new standards, so they can make any improvements before being in danger of a penalty.
But what can you actually do to improve the EPC rating?
Well, there are few things, but insulation is an important factor.
As well as ensuring that all windows are properly sealed and modernised, sufficient insulation in the walls, floor and ceiling cavities can help to improve energy efficiency by a considerable amount.
Icynene® spray foam insulation, an eco-friendly, quick and easy type of insulation, can be fitted almost anywhere in the property, and it doesn’t just have impressive thermal qualities. It’s also proven to keep out pollen and other pollutants or allergens, making the air cleaner as well as warmer.
It’s not just spray foam that’s available. There are several types of insulation, all with their own benefits. The one thing they have in common is that they all improve the energy efficiency of a property, while also reducing noise pollution. From beading, natural fibre insulation, Rockwool and PIR boards, there are many cost-effective and highly suitable solutions to energy efficiency that don’t include spending a fortune on a full renovation.
It’s no longer a luxury to have a well-insulated property, it’s now the law. So, get in front of the new legislation and upgrade your existing properties with our innovative range of traditional and spray foam insulation.