The government has begun a review into Energy Performance Certificate scoring that could have far-reaching consequences for the private rented sector.
At the moment, EPC scores are based on the amount of energy it takes to power a home rather than its carbon emissions. This sometimes creates disincentives for green renovations: replacing a gas boiler with a greener heat pump can harm a property’s EPC score. Fixing this could help to cut the country’s carbon footprint.
Property professionals may hope for bigger changes. The government has previously proposed making an EPC rating of C compulsory for all newly rented properties by 2025, and for existing tenancies by 2028. The average privately rented property currently has an EPC rating of D, leaving most landlords on the hook for potentially expensive renovations. Landlords are already avoiding investing in less energy-efficient properties, according to new research by Hamptons. The NRLA and Propertymark have both asked for more financial help for landlords to upgrade properties.
The industry will also need clarity from the government as quickly as possible. Because of an ongoing shortage of construction workers, large-scale renovations could take a while, especially if a lot of landlords all want to make them at once. A drawn-out enquiry could finish dangerously close to the deadline.
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