The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating system was introduced in England and Wales in 2007. An EPC is required whenever a property is constructed, sold or rented out. An EPC shows how much energy a property uses and how it rates in terms of energy efficiency based on factors such as insulation, heating and hot water systems, ventilation and fuels used. Properties are given a property rating from A (most efficient – shown in dark green) to G (least efficient – shown in red).
On 1st April 2018, new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for residential and commercially let properties were introduced. The aim of the standards is to improve the energy efficiency of older buildings and help the UK achieve its carbon reduction targets. The standards affect all new lets and renewals of tenancies to begin with, coming into force for all existing residential tenancies from 1st April 2020.
Landlords renting out a property which fails to meet the new MEES can be fined a civil penalty of up to £4,000. They will not be able to rent the building out until the works that are required to get it to an E rating have been carried out. All rented properties must have an up-to-date EPC which must be available free of charge to any prospective tenant at the earliest opportunity. An EPC is only valid for 10 years and must be renewed in order to continue letting a property out.
An EPC is not required for certain types of property, including listed buildings and holiday accommodation that is rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy. For a full list of exempt properties, visit energy performance certificates.
Published July 2019.
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