Understanding the New Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Requirements
For landlords, EPC requirements changed in 2018 through the initiation of an energy rating of ‘E’ or better, though this was for new tenancies only. Now, however, this rule is applicable to all tenancies, not only new ones. Alterations to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards were made in 2021 and these alterations will come into effect in 2025.
Here, we briefly recap the alterations that occurred in 2018, in addition to everything you should know about the 2021 EPC updates. This is inclusive of your legal responsibilities and with respect to what will happen should your property fail to have an EPC.
The Current Energy Performance Certificate Requirements – What Are They?
In England and Wales from October 2008 onwards, it’s been mandatory that rental properties have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
From April 1st, 2018, new standards – the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) – were introduced. These new standards made it a requirement that in England and Wales, all properties either being let or sold were to have a minimum EPC rating of ‘E’ or above.
What Changes Have Been Made to EPC Requirements?
As of April 1st, 2020, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards became applicable to all existing tenancies – not only renewals and new ones.
If a property failed to have an EPC rating of ‘E’ or above by that date, it cannot be let legally.
The New Regulations for 2021
In December 2020, the government proposed that all rental properties are required to have an EPC rating of ‘C’ or better by 2025. These new regulations, like before, will first be introduced for new tenancies, then all other tenancies must follow suit from 2028.
There is a penalty if no valid EPC is obtained. From 2025, the penalty is to be raised from the current £5,000 to £30,000.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
An EPC provides detailed information with respect to a property’s energy efficiency in addition to carbon dioxide emissions.
An Energy Assessment Survey must be undertaken at the property. A Domestic Energy Assessor will carry out inspections internally and externally to determine the energy efficiency of the building and the potential level of efficiency in terms of what can be achieved.
The assessor takes into account the following:
- Walls, roof, and insulation
- Heating system
- Renewable energy such as solar panels or wind turbines
- The dimensions of the building
- The year of build
After the inspection, the assessor creates the EPC and grades the property’s energy performance where ‘G’ is the least efficient and ‘A’ is the most efficient.
Is it Necessary to Obtain the Tenant’s Permission Prior to the Energy Assessment?
Letting agents and landlords must provide tenants with a minimum of 24 hours written notice before a property visit. Unless there’s an emergency, such as in the case of a flood, a gas leak, or a fire, tenants must give consent.
How Long Does an EPC Last?
After the issuance of the EPC, it remains valid for ten years. After ten years, there is no need to renew unless the property is being sold or there are new tenants.
How to Make Preparations for EPC Requirements?
If you do not, as of yet, possess an EPC, you should book an Energy Assessment as soon as possible. The property must meet a minimum requirement of ‘E’ or better. Landlords are legally obliged to undertake any property alterations suggested within the EPC report. If the suggested improvements cost in excess of £3,500, a high-cost exemption can be applied for through the PRS Exemptions Register.
How to Make Preparations for the 2025 EPC Regulations?
For older properties, in particular, achieving a ‘C’ EPC rating tends to be more ambitious than achieving an ‘E’ rating. The government recommends what is known as a ‘fabric first’ approach which entails focusing on the loft, wall, and floor insulation. A smart meter installation is also a recommendation.
Though the current cap on energy performance investment is £3,500 in terms of how much the landlord must pay, the government has estimated that in order to obtain a ‘C’ rating the average cost will likely be around £4,700 and in accordance, the energy performance cap is to be raised to £10,000. Landlords are therefore encouraged to apply for a Green Homes Grant. The Grant will provide up to £5,000 towards the cost of hiring tradespeople in order to obtain the ‘C’ energy rating.
Are There Any Properties That are Exempt From EPC Requirements?
If the property is a listed property or if it is a protected property and if any energy-related improvements would make unacceptable alterations then the property is regarded as being exempt from EPC requirement.
Exemptions are also applicable to:
- Places of worship
- Temporary buildings (buildings used for no more than two years)
- Some industrial sites and workshops
- Buildings that are to be demolished
- Buildings that are detached with 50 square metres or less of floor space
Can Tenants Obtain a Copy of the EPC?
Tenants are entitled to a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate and must be provided one when moving into the property. If tenants are already in situ and the Certificate is renewed, they must be provided with a copy of the renewal certificate at the earliest opportunity.
As a tenant, if you wish to find out what your rental property’s EPC rating is, please visit
The government’s Find an Energy Certificate website.
What Happens if the Property Has No EPC?
If the property has no valid Energy Performance Certificate then it cannot be let. If the property is let and it has no EPC, the local authority can impose a fine of up to £5,000.
In 2025, when the regulations are due for a further update, if no valid EPC is held, the penalty will be £30,000.
Get an EPC with UK Safety Management
At UK Safety Management, our team of locally based assessors are accredited by STROMA and Elmhurst energy ensuring all assessments are carried out to the highest standard. We provide both commercial and domestic EPCs throughout the UK.
We pride ourselves on our professional services, no matter your requirement. We provide a fast and friendly EPC service at a highly competitive price. If you want to find out more, please contact us and we’ll get right back to you!