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Landlords, are you ready for the changes to EPC regulations?
EPC requirements are changing in Scotland as of 2025, where properties in the private rented sector (PRS) will be required to have an EPC rating of C at change of tenancy. Thereafter, all properties will be required to have a minimum rating of C by 2028.
What is an EPC?
EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate which provides information on how energy efficient a property is. It is based on a rate scale from A (most efficient) to G (inefficient), it also provides measures towards the end of the report which can improve the energy efficiency of a home with rough costs. The rating of the EPC is a measure of the energy performance of the property itself (fabric) and its services (hot water, heating, and lighting). The higher the cost of running the property, the lower the energy rating will be.
When are EPCs needed for rental properties?
The EPC is required for advertising purposes and must be less than 10 years old at the point of advertising a rental property. The purpose is to give tenants an indicator on what it will cost to heat, light and maintain their home.
What are the changes and how will it affect my rental property?
Previously the Scottish Government intended on implementing a requirement to have a rating of D at change of tenancy in 2022. However, this proposal was not taken forward as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Therefore, changes to the regulations have now been implemented which require properties in the PRS to have a rating of C at change of tenancy from 2025. Thereafter all PRS properties will be required to have a rating of C by 2028. Exemptions will apply where the landlord can demonstrate that it is not technically feasible or cost effective to reach a rating of C.
What can be done to improve the EPC rating?
Attention to what is detailed in the report itself is crucial, as this will give you pointers on actions to take to increase the energy efficiency of the property. The recommendations on the report will vary from a small action (changing the type of lightbulbs) to larger works (wall cavity insulation). Some examples of what may be listed in the report are detailed below:
- Wall cavity insulation (very effective improvement and may also be funded through the Green Deal)
- Roof / loft insulation (very effective improvement which can lead to savings of up to 20%)
- Upgrade heating controls (room thermostats will switch the heating off when the room reaches a certain temperature, creating more heat efficiency)
- Low energy lighting for all fixed outlets (cheapest option, only has a small impact on the rating but every little helps!)
- Replace boiler with more efficient boiler (old boilers can be less than 70% efficient)
- Fit modern electric storage heaters (fan heaters are smaller and better insulated)
- Replace single glazing to double (one of the more costly options but will also improve the comfort of the property and make it more desirable to tenants)
- Increase hot water cylinder insulation (this could cut heat loss by 75%)
- Replace / remove any secondary forms of heating (the EPC software will assume that secondary forms of heating are used i.e., old gas fires which will most likely be very inefficient, the removal of these will remove the risk of this form of heating being included with the rating)
In most cases, landlords will need to bear the upfront costs of improvements made but many of these will result in great improvements to the energy efficiency of the property over a 5 year period.
At Cairn, we are currently working hard for our landlords and investigating any funding that may be available. However, if you have any questions meantime, please do not hesitate to contact your property manager who will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
Please contact our friendly team for our range of services on 0141 270 7878 for Glasgow and 0131 346 4646 for Edinburgh, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org