UK landlords are grappling with a multitude of challenges as the clock ticks down to the 2028 Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) deadline. Property owners are finding themselves in the throes of a financial whirlwind, as retrofitting their properties to meet the new energy efficiency standards can carry hefty costs. Failing to ensure that their EPC ratings are C or above by the deadline could result in crippling fines up to £30,000.
More than half of the UK’s rental properties currently hold an EPC rating of D or lower, according to data from LandTech. While the government is partnering with financial institutions to cap expenditure per property at £10,000, irrespective of the EPC rating, landlords are understandably anxious about the significant initial investment.
Many property owners are also expressing concerns about the potential implications on tenants, given that rental increases might be necessary to offset retrofitting costs.
Tanya Elmaz, Director of Intermediary Sales for Commercial Finance at Together, shares these concerns, “Landlords are justified in their apprehension about the extensive costs associated with upgrading their properties to meet new EPC standards.
“However, small changes can indeed lead to substantial improvements. Incorporating low-cost loft insulation or replacing outdated light bulbs can incrementally boost your rating while also reducing energy expenses. It’s crucial for property owners, whether they are looking to rent or sell, to be energy-efficient and understand the impact EPC can have on their portfolios.”
To aid landlords in confronting these rising EPC costs, Elmaz provides some valuable advice:
Alter your lighting: Switching traditional incandescent bulbs for LED or energy-efficient alternatives can noticeably improve your EPC rating. According to the Energy Saving Trust, an average household can trim their energy bills by about £65 per year by making this simple switch, costing only around £90.
Insulate your loft: A low-cost measure like loft insulation, which costs as little as £5 per m2, can considerably boost your EPC rating. An upgrade from 120mm to a minimum of 270mm of loft insulation can make a significant difference in energy consumption and thus, costs.
Insulate your hot water tank: For households using a hot water tank, adding an insulating jacket is an affordable and straightforward method to both save money and raise the EPC score. Priced around £25, it can save approximately £35 per annum on energy bills and enhance the EPC rating.
Upgrade your boiler: Though it involves a higher cost, replacing an outdated boiler with a modern one is a prudent long-term investment. On average, a new boiler installation could cost about £4,000 but it could save more than £500 annually on heating bills while boosting your EPC rating by about 40 points. Certain providers also offer grants and incentives up to £6,000 to help offset costs.
Replace your windows: Opting for double or triple-glazed windows can substantially enhance your EPC score by up to 10 points. Modern windows prevent heat loss and cold air intrusion. Choosing A-rated options ensures maximum efficiency for your investment.
As the 2028 deadline approaches, UK landlords must strategically plan and implement these energy efficiency measures to avoid costly penalties and maintain viable rental propositions.