How To Improve The EPC Rating Of Your Properties
Complying with the UK government’s minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating for rental properties isn’t only essential for avoiding fines of up to £5,000, it’s also crucial to helping your tenants minimise energy usage and its impact on the environment.
Furthermore, with the current energy crisis and rising inflation, having a good EPC rating for your rental properties will help you stay competitive and attract budget-conscious and eco-conscious tenants.
But what is the minimum EPC rating you must legally obtain to rent out your property in the UK? How can you improve your EPC rating and claim VAT relief? Find out the answers to these questions and more in our guide to improving your EPC rating.
The minimum EPC rating for rental properties
You must get an Energy Performance Certificate for every letting property in your portfolio every 10 years and ensure it’s rated E or above. If you make any significant changes to the property, however, you’ll need to renew your EPC certificate once again.
However, the UK government has recently announced an official plan to increase the minimum EPC rating to C by 2028 to help them achieve their net zero targets by 2030.
Improve your EPC rating with these top tips
So, how can you future-proof your letting properties against future increases in minimum EPC ratings and get them to a rating of E or above? Improve EPC ratings with our top tips below.
Switch to LED lighting
An easy replacement, like LED light bulbs, may be enough to transform your letting properties from an F to a C within a day! LED light bulbs last decades, use up far less energy, help reduce energy bills, and are kinder to the environment than traditional bulbs.
To work out a general cost, LED light bulbs typically cost between £15-£20.
Add extra insulation
A huge factor in energy efficiency is how much energy it takes to heat or cool a home. Having adequate insulation plays a major role in this, so if you don’t already have a thick loft, roof, and wall insulation, now is the time to invest.
Price-wise, insulating your roof typically costs between £400 – £500 and to insulate your wall cavities is around £200 per exterior wall.
Upgrade your windows
Upgrading your single-glazed windows to double or triple-glazed can make a significant difference in the energy efficiency of your rental properties, as they help to keep the warm air in. Though a little more pricey to implement, upgrading your windows offers increased energy efficiency that lasts.
Double and triple-glazed windows can cost anywhere from £2,000 – £7,000, depending on the window type and size of your property.
Invest in a better boiler
So many rental properties in the UK come with outdated boilers that drive energy prices and carbon emissions through the roof. If your boiler systems have an appliance rating below F, you may have difficulty getting your EPC rating up. Change your boiler to one with a better appliance rating to improve your EPC.
A brand new boiler with an appliance rating of A costs around £1,000 – £3,000, though you may be able to purchase a second-hand one for less.
Get a smart meter
Almost every energy company now offers a smart metering solution to help you see exactly how much electricity they’re using. You can connect smart meters to all electricity-using appliances, lights, and more, so your tenants can make more conscious energy choices. But it’s also a fantastic way to boost your EPC rating.
A smart meter installation is usually free, and the service itself typically costs between £30-£70 per month, paid through your tenant’s electricity bills.
Why bother making your letting property more energy efficient?
Other than the obvious benefit; of helping to slow climate change and save the planet (no big deal), there are many benefits to improving the energy efficiency of your rental properties.
Increased property value
The more energy efficient your letting property is, the higher its real estate value will be. Modern tenants are not only more eco-conscious than previous generations, but they also have less disposable income and are looking for ways to reduce their monthly bills. Improving your property’s EPC rating will make it more desirable.
Better tenant retention
When your tenants are spending less on their energy bills, are more comfortable in a warm home, and have more income at the end of each month, they’re less likely to look for other properties with better energy ratings to move to or miss your rent deadline due to cash flow issues.
The better your letting property’s EPC ratings, the less maintenance work you’ll have to manage and pay for. With a dry, warm, well-ventilated home, the chances of mould and frozen pipes dramatically decrease.
Want to learn more about avoiding landlord fines and the laws you need to follow? Check out our other blog, “Landlord safety certificates: How to avoid fines and stay compliant.”
All your EPC certificates: sorted with Symple
Improving your EPC rating doesn’t have to be complicated. Nor does remembering renewal dates or keeping your EPC certificates in one place. Symple does it all for you!
Symple is easy, fast, and built to make landlords’ lives easier. Our platform makes it as simple as clicking a button to get your EPC certificates sorted.
From managing tenant communications to sending renewal notices, Symple is your all-in-one solution to property certificate management.
Visit Symple to see how it works, and order your certificates online today.