Landlords to be forced to improve energy efficiency of properties

Landlords to be forced to improve energy efficiency of properties

Landlords to be forced to improve energy efficiency of properties

Many domestic landlords earn a living by renting out multiple properties to tenants, but they will soon be forced to turn this business opportunity into a much greener operation under new rules announced by the government last week (Thursday February 5th).

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is introducing new regulations that mean all landlords in the UK will have to make sure the properties they rent out meet a certain standard of energy efficiency over the next three years, or they could risk being unable to let in the future.Landlords to be forced to improve enegry efficiency

As of April 2018, landlords will need to ensure their homes comply with Band E of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings system, which could help tenants - or the owner of the property, if they fund the utilities - save up to £880 on their annual energy bills when measured against the lowest standard of energy efficiency.

Band E is considered to be in the middle of the ranking system, with a domestic or commercial property's green credentials decreasing towards Band G and its low-carbon status increasing in the direction of Band A.

The EPC system takes into account a range of factors, such as how much energy a property uses, the level of excess carbon dioxide it emits and the quantities of hot water, heating and lighting it uses.

Therefore, ways in which landlords will be able to try to improve the energy efficiency of their properties include investing in better insulation and LED lighting, as well as offering tenants tips on how to use less energy - for example, by switching the lights off in rooms that are not in use and closing the curtains as soon as it gets dark to keep rooms as warm as possible.

Ed Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, commented: "These new laws will plug the gaps in draughty homes, helping households to keep warm and drive down bills.

"It's good news all round and yet another way we're taking action to ensure that cold homes with bloated energy bills become a thing of the past."

Parliamentary under secretary of state Amber Rudd added: "These new regulations will drive bills down in some of the worst-insulated homes, where up to one million tenants are paying too much to keep warm."

What's more, landlords will not necessarily be expected to foot the bill for energy-efficient improvements, as there are several government schemes that can provide them with financial support when it comes to improving their environmentally-friendly credentials, such as the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund and the Energy Company Obligation.

Acting chief executive officer of the UK Green Building Council John Alker stated: "This is the single most important piece of green legislation to affect our homes and buildings that has been introduced in the whole of this parliament."

It is believed that both domestic and commercial energy bills can be significantly lowered if green improvements are invested in, while also helping to eradicate the issue of fuel poverty, with the announcement of a strategy for combatting the problem reportedly imminent.

Posted by William Rodriguez

Image courtesy of ThinkStock/KonstantinGushcha