Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards
In 2018, the UK government introduced Regulations to help improve energy efficiency. All Private Sector Properties must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a minimum rating of E.
Shared Regulatory Services are committed to helping the Welsh Government achieve their objectives to reduce fuel poverty and the number of inadequate energy efficient homes being rented in Wales. Energy used in homes represents around 20% of Wales’ carbon emissions.
By decarbonising and improving the energy efficiency standards of homes to meet regulations, we can begin to prevent tenants from falling into fuel poverty and work towards meeting the UK target of net zero emissions by 2050.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An EPC contains information on how efficiently a property uses energy. Based upon this report the document will provide a rating for the property on a scale from A – G (The most efficient being A and the least efficient being G). The EPC is valid for a period of 10 years (unless a new valid certificate is commissioned within this time). It must be provided by the owner of a property free of charge when it is either rented or sold. An EPC will also provide cost-effective recommendations that could be implemented to improve the energy efficiency performance of a property. If these recommendations are acted upon it could help reduce energy bills due to a lower energy consumption and reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced. Thus, helping to mitigate the global threat of climate change.
What does this mean for my property?
Current legislation prohibits properties being rented out to tenants that have an EPC rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’. If the property you’re renting falls into this category your landlord might be breaking the law and will be required to make urgent energy efficiency improvements.
Find out your property EPC Rating
- If your property has an energy rating E or above: no action required under current legislation.
- If your property has no EPC: you are urgently required to get a certificate.
- If your property has an Energy Efficient rating F or G: this legislation applies, and you MUST act.
Whilst there is a legal basis for improving low performing homes, both the landlord and the tenant can experience many advantages by implementing changes such as;
- Upgrading your EPC rating can be cheaper than you think. You may be able to upgrade the property to an ‘E’ or better with low-cost measures such as draught-proofing and small amounts of insulation.
- The possibility of increasing the value of your rental property if you decide to sell.
- The property can become more competitive on the rental market due to the increased comfort for tenants.
- The higher the energy efficiency rating of a property typically means the cheaper the energy bills are for tenants. This can help tenants become more likely to be able to pay their rent on time because they are spending less on energy bills.
- Reduced energy bills and increased comfort can result in fewer complaints from tenants that need to be resolved.
- Improving properties can mitigate levels of damp and condensation forming which will increase the health benefits for the tenant.
- Reducing the carbon footprint of the property will help contribute to a greener and healthier society. Get a new energy certificate
Current regulations prohibit landlords from letting properties with an EPC rating below of F or G. However, in certain circumstances a landlord can apply for an exemption. An exemption will last for 5 years and after this time the landlord would need to reassess their options and re-register an exemption if applicable. All exemptions are recorded on the Private Rented Sector Exemptions Register. To exempt a property landlords should apply to register this as soon as possible to remain compliant.
Guidance for types of exemptions and how to register an exemption
Energy efficiency grants and advice
Welsh Government help and advice for energy efficiency measures
Find energy grants and ways to save energy in your home
Boiler Upgrade Scheme (UK Gov)
Through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, you could get a grant to cover part of the cost of replacing fossil fuel heating systems with a heat pump or biomass boiler.
You can get one grant per property. Grants are available for
- £5,000 towards an air source heat pump-
- £6,000 towards a ground source heat pump (including water source heat pumps and those on shared ground loops)
- £5,000 towards a biomass boiler
Apply for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme
The Warm Homes Nest Scheme
The scheme is open to all householders in Wales and is operated on behalf of the Welsh Government. Nest will provide energy saving advice and if eligible, free home energy efficiency improvements such as solar panels, new central heating systems and insulation.
Please contact Nest on Freephone 0808 808 2244 for free advice and to see if you are eligible for energy saving home improvements or visit Nest Wales for more information.
Gas Connection Grants
For many homes, a switch to a gas central heating system can help improve the energy rating of the property. Warm Wales works with Wales & West Utilities on providing householders with gas connection grants.
Please either contact the helpline on 01656 747623 or you can apply online
Energy Saving Trust
Their website provides free, impartial advice on how you can save money by becoming more energy efficient. They can also advise further about any grants you may be eligible to apply for to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
A scheme currently offered by Care and Repair aiming to improve the warmth, comfort and quality of life for older people in Wales. Home energy officers offer free home energy assessments for people aged 60+ and help older people through repairs, advice and simple adaptations. To find out more information please contact Care and Repair on 0300 111 3333.