While standards to tackle the performance of new buildings have been in place for some time, minimum standards to drive improvements in the performance of existing properties are essential.
For example, properties currently rated F or G on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) not only waste energy, but also contribute to the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. They are also an unnecessary cost for both business and the wider economy.
But changes are afoot…
From April 1 2018 it will become unlawful for landlords to let or lease a residential (domestic) or commercial (non-domestic) property if the building has a rating worse than an E, because it will no longer meet the new minimum EPC requirements.
A Non-domestic property is defined by the Energy Act, 2011 as any property let on a tenancy, which is not a dwelling. All commercial property types from A1-D2 usage class are in scope of the regulations, with the exception of those excluded from existing EPC regulations.
A Domestic property is defined by the Energy Act, 2011 as a property let under an assured tenancy for the purposes of the Housing Act 1998, or a tenancy which is a regulated tenancy for the purposes of the Rent Act 1977.
It is believed that these requirements will be based on the following:
- For non-domestic or commercial property this will be based on C02 emissions
- For domestic property the rating will be based on fuel costs not C02 emissions
When the new regulations come into force on 1 April 2018, any eligible properties, which do not meet the minimum requirement will need to be improved to a specified standard.
To ensure you are prepared in advance of this date, it would be worth speaking to a qualified energy assessor who will be able to offer expert advice and guidance on your property.
For example, where the EPC Rating is F or G (or is at risk of becoming so) it would be advisable for an ‘Energy Efficiency Plan’ to be put in place. This would include assessing the costs and benefits of improving the property.
If it is found that an F or G EPC rated property qualifies for an exemption from the minimum energy efficiency standard, an exemption must be registered on the PRS Exemptions Register.
The Exemptions Register is currently being piloted. It will be available on gov.uk from 1 October 2017. Landlords wishing to register an exemption for a non-domestic property as part of the pilot can contact the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) minimum standards team: PRSregisteraccess@beis.gov.uk.
We can help
We know that new regulations and changes in the law can cause concern and confusion, but our experienced lettings and energy assessors can make the process simple and easy. We can support landlords by:
Providing advice on the legislation and its implications on assets
- Reviewing current energy efficiency and performance across properties
- Developing a bespoke risk management plan/ energy efficiency plan and help build in necessary improvements into the building life cycle
- Procuring and managing any improvement work required
- Providing energy performance reports and ratings