Property people get ready for new EPC rules

Property people get ready for new EPC rules

17:31 PM, 21st February 2012, About 12 years ago 46

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Landlords and letting agents must comply with a streamlined energy performance certificate scheme from April.

The government has given the green light to the new rules that bring EPC requirements for selling and letting residential and commercial property into line.

From April 6, all properties need a valid EPC certificate before marketing to let or for sale – and agents must be ‘satisfied’ a survey is booked before advertising the property.

The new regulations arm trading standards officers with powers to demand files from an agent to examine evidence an EPC was ordered before marketing.

The EPC should be available within seven days of marketing and a copy of the front page should be attached to all marketing particulars – including those available in print, online and email.

Prospective tenants and buyers are entitled to see a full copy of the EPC when viewing a property.

A more flexible time limit of up to 28 days is offered to complex commercial surveys.

EPC design also changes – the new certificate replaces complicated graphs on the front page with clearer information about the property’s energy costs and any measures that could be taken to cut them.

The top three tips for energy-saving improvements will be listed.

Homes or commercial property already on the market with an old-style EPC before April 6 do not need to buy a new certificate.

Failing to comply with the new regulations could cost landlords or agents fines up to £200 for homes or 12.5% of the rateable value with a minimum £500 and maximum £5,000 for commercial property.

Download more information from Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

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17:38 PM, 5th March 2012, About 12 years ago

It is a shame that replacing Electric storage heating with a gas central heating system is a capital expenditure so can’t be offset again rental income.

Mary Latham

19:23 PM, 5th March 2012, About 12 years ago

My new piece on What the new EPC changes mean to landlords is now here

Its a long piece but I hope that I have given all the details that landlords are conerned about if not just ask

Mary Latham

19:29 PM, 5th March 2012, About 12 years ago

It is very early to be worrying about the Green Deal and we are working hard to get information to landlords that will help them to make informed decisions and also to help them to explain things to their tenants should they decide to take up Green Deal.  There are many details still in the melting pot but when we know more I will post a piece will all the relevant information.

Thank you for the info about flats, its good to know but landlords who have 60's builds are concerned about the ratings that they are getting and this is why we should all push the Managing Agents to get cavities filled and lofts insulated as a minimum

Mary Latham

19:32 PM, 5th March 2012, About 12 years ago

Ian Electricity is the fuel of the future and I would not replace storage heaters with gas central heating at this point.  New builds will soon be all electric and the cost of electric central heating will come down

12:40 PM, 6th March 2012, About 12 years ago

I don’t see electricity heating having lower running cost then gas for a very long time, given we generate a lot of electricity from gas and the generation process is a lot less efficient then a gas boiler.

However I agree in a small new build flat with very high insulation standards electricity heating may make sense, but this is because the capital cost of electricity heating is less than a gas boiler and a small flat with very high insulation standards needs very little heat.   (Not having to pay for a gas safety check each year also helps)

For a new build house, if the money that is saved on the cheaper installation cost of an electricity heating system is spent on better insulation and air leakage sealing, then the electricity heating system can have a lower running costs then a gas system.

So for a property that needs lots of heating due to its age and size (upgrading insulation hardly every hit current new build standards), I don’t think you can beat gas if you have the option of main gas connection.  Heatpumps may become practical for older properties at some point; however they need very large water based radiators and currently don’t complete well with gas on running costs when mains gas is an option.

I expect most tenants would choose a flat with gas CH given the option as electricity heating has such a bad reputation for running costs and lack of control.   (Most people have experienced “cheep” storage heaters at some point in their life.)

Personally I see the future for heating of older properties being some sort of combined heat and power system like the Baxi Ecogen or as the national demand for electricity (and
hence the highest cost of generation) is on cold winter evening, just when these system are generating the most electricity.   However CHP boilers are still very new, so I would not consider one for most rental properties.  As we live in a large 1930 bungalow that will always require a high heat input, these will be on the short list when our boiler next needs replacing.

Mary Latham

12:53 PM, 6th March 2012, About 12 years ago

Everything you say is true Ian but ask yourself this.  Why have Government set up Green Deal to collect payments from the electricity meter but not the gas?

13:41 PM, 6th March 2012, About 12 years ago

One of the things I like to say to vendors / landlords while I am carrying out an energy survey is that back in the mid 80s, if I had told you that within 25 years you would spend £80 to fill your car up and that MPG would be one of the more important considerations when choosing a new model you would have laughed at me... 

Gas is a fossil fuel and in the same way as petrol, as it gets more and more scarce it's price will rise faster and faster. When this starts to bite, less and less electricity will be generated with gas and more will come from nuclear and renewable sources. Electricity will increase in price, but nowhere near as quickly as gas.

The unit price for mains gas (as applied to RDSAP calculations) increased by 90% from 2005 to 2009,while electricity went up by 61%.

Social housing built in the last five years in my area is increasingly using air source heat pumps instead of gas boilers. Current tenants are moaning at the cost of their electric bills, but I can't help thinking in ten years they won't be moaning any more 🙂 

13:44 PM, 6th March 2012, About 12 years ago

As far as I know, the reason for collecting payments through the electricity bill is that everyone has electricity so it was set up that way. And it's not just gas and electricity - many people have oil, LPG etc but electricity is the one thing everyone has.

13:57 PM, 6th March 2012, About 12 years ago

There is no point in collecting payments from both meters as that will just add to the operating costs.

Everyone has an electricity meters unlike gas.

All electricity meters are due to get replaced as part of the “smart meter” role out.

I expect that current electricity pre-payment meter are more likely to be able to cope then gas pre-payment meters.   (This may no longer be true; it is many years since I worked on meter control software.)

9:45 AM, 9th March 2012, About 12 years ago

With regard to the EPC, if I obtain an EPC before April 6th when my property is not on the market for letting, will I then have to obtain a new style EPC if I need to market my property after April 6th, when the new EPC comes into force?

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