EPC rating low but sticking to Planning Requirements?

EPC rating low but sticking to Planning Requirements?

by Readers Question

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16:21 PM, 23rd December 2021, About 3 years ago 12

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I have just had an EPC done which refers to the single glazing as ‘very poor’ leading to a D rating overall despite the rest of the report showing Good or Very good in all the other areas.

Planning requirements state I cannot change the windows, so what more can I do?

I am keen to get a C rating now (before tenants move in) and before the proposed changes are on the statute books. I clearly don’t want the cost later on of employing a specialist to write a report to say exactly this just to tick another bloody box for possible exemption, as I am clearly not permitted to change them to double glazing.

Any ideas anyone?

(NB will go back to the assessor about this, just wanted to throw it out there or hear from other assessors to see if there is an actual consensus on this or not with how these EPC’s are actually filled in regarding this point)


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Jim Fox

8:44 AM, 24th December 2021, About 3 years ago

Can you not fit secondary glazing, or replace the old single glazed units with like for like DG units, which normally will be planning approved?

Judith Wordsworth

8:58 AM, 24th December 2021, About 3 years ago

If in a conservation area or is a listed building talk to the planning department/Scottish Heritage.
As Jim Fox has said look into secondary glazing if cannot replace for DG units which look like the existing units.

Judith Wordsworth

9:08 AM, 24th December 2021, About 3 years ago

Sorry re my comment above meant English Heritage

Adrian Jones

9:50 AM, 24th December 2021, About 3 years ago

I would go with like for like DG. We had replacement sash windows fitted to a listed property in Bath and they looked fantastic. Might be worth speaking to a couple of local window companies, I'm sure they will have come across this before.

Some years earlier we had secondary glazing fitted to another property and it was expensive and you still have the problem of maintaining the existing windows.

Tim Rogers

10:34 AM, 24th December 2021, About 3 years ago

There is also the possibility, once gov sort themselves out, that buildings with these kind of restrictions may get some kind of dispensation/exemption.

The other bouncing ball is the level at which the gov may set the cost above which you need not proceed.
ie: if the overall cost is above say £15,000, ( for the sake of discussion), then you become exempt.

Darren Peters

10:48 AM, 24th December 2021, About 3 years ago

A bit if cheap research would be to wander around the streets and see if anyone has any subtly modified windows - Ie double glazing in the style of the original. If you find anything ring the bell, introduce yourself as a neighbourly and ask about their windows.

Also ring the local council building control officer and ask their advice. Although they don’t strictly deal with Listed or conservation status they often know the lay of the land and may be able to help.

Wayne Church

16:01 PM, 24th December 2021, About 3 years ago

Hi I posted this elsewhere but the 1st point may help you reach band C. GL

Just a quick few tips for landlords regarding EPC's
1, my top tip is, if you have a property with a boiler & all the habitable rooms are heated by this method then try to remove any other types of secondary heating. An example would be a house with a modern condensing boiler & electric fire in the living room. Without the fire the EPC rating would be roughly 4 points higher, (gas fires also knock the score down 2-3pts). There will be many properties just below a C & without spending much the score can easily be raised.
2, if you insulate any walls, roofs, etc take photos. Take one of the front of the house/flat before you start. Photos should show the insulation on the walls (so before its plastered up), a photo showing thickness also helps.
3, wall insulation the minimum required to be counted is 25mm Rigid foam boards of insulation (such as Kingspan or Celotex), or 50mm rockwool.
4, let your tenants know the inspection involves going into the loft (if there is one), assessors often go to properties where loft access in a cupboard in the bedroom & if its full & they cannot get their ladders in they won't but the score will be reduced considerably if there is insulation in there.
5, all electric properties score really badly (due to the cost of electric over gas), in all electric properties where the hot water is heated via immersion if you are a few points off hitting a band C consider asking the utility to swap the meter to E7. This assumes the water is heated off peak giving those extra points (4-6).
I hope the above helps GL

Reluctant Landlord

12:32 PM, 26th December 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Wayne Church at 24/12/2021 - 16:01
Thanks for the info.

Its ironic - the govt want you to switch away from gas as more CO2 emissions but then the EPC is slated when you do, even though the electric can be from totally renewable source AND the efficiency is far better for the tenant and therefore consumer (thus reducing the total consumption by default - another bonus).
Taken the decision that if by 2025 the gvt is still going down the ridiculous C rating path then they will have to incentivise LL's before then AND have to look at the EPC system as it stands as it is not fit for purpose if the CO2 emissions reduction is their goal. I can then look at options.

The tenant may be encouraged to switch to an Economy 7 system by then so it might be the few points here that serve to push it over the edge to the C rating.
Until then I am doing nothing - sit and wait and watch them make a pigs ear out of whatever decision is taken.

Wayne Church

13:18 PM, 27th December 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 26/12/2021 - 12:32
EPC's need to change given the current drive is for zero emission's but care has to be taken that it does not significantly effect the tenant.
A good example is electric heating, as you noted it is 100% efficient great but the current cost of a KW of electric is between 18-20p compare that of gas, even if we take recent rises is still only around 4-5 per KW.

How would this effect a typical 3 bed semi? I run the results through a property I am currently assessing (well insulated (CWI+loft), 1930's semi),
1, condensing gas combi rads in each room + stat/prog/TRV's EPC score = C69 £715 per year

2, electric panel heaters & immersion (single tariff), prog/stats on heaters all rooms. EPC score =F32, £2204 per year.

3, electric boiler stat/prog/TRV's EPC score =F28 £2396 per year.

So currently just switching to electric is not viable for most tenants as costs are way more expensive.
Unless of course we bring heat pumps into the mix which do make electric home viable (provided they are well insulated & installed correctly.

The solution for a future EPC will need to be a hybrid of both cost & CO2. It is currently being re-evaluated.


Seething Landlord

23:55 PM, 27th December 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Wayne Church at 27/12/2021 - 13:18
Would it be possible for you to include electric storage heaters in the comparison?

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