The EPC Maze?

The EPC Maze?

6:45 AM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago 22

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The EPC on a top floor flat has recently been downgraded from an F to a G with a score of just 19!

The three suggestions for improving that score are :
1. Increase loft insulation to 270 mm at a cost of £100 to £350 (Score 24 i.e. F)
2. Internal or external wall insulation at a cost of £4000 to £14000 (Score 31 i.e.F)
3. High heat retention storage heaters at a cost of £800 to £1200 (Score 68 D)

So even the first two steps would only get the rating up to an F and would cost more than the cap of £3500 (inc vat).

I know I could do step one and then apply for an exemption, but I would much prefer to get the flat as energy-efficient as possible. Is the set and sequence of steps set out in the certificate the only one possible or might I be able to find someone who could come up with a more realistic and more effective set of measures?

Having looked at the storage heaters option, the size and layout of the flat means this does not work.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Bridget



Comments

by GREENDIZZYCRAB

9:01 AM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago

I have the same issue, points 1 to 4 on mine bring my property up to a D, outer, inner, under floor, extra loft insulation, then by adding energy saving lights bulbs it's a C! So can I bypass 1 to 4 and just do 5 and get my C? So confusing and expensive. 14k to 17k for the work! Another property to be sold as I don't have the money and nowhere to put the tenants while the work is done. Well done the govt for destroying our business and taking homes away from families.

by Jo Westlake

9:45 AM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago

With the threat of a C rating becoming a requirement getting the exemption looks like the only route that would work for you longer term.
If your objective is to spend as little as possible and then get the exemption just do the loft insulation and apply for the exemption. If they decide you should have just bypassed the wall insulation and gone on to another measure that would keep within the £3500 I guess they'd tell you. After you've got the exemption there's nothing stopping you making further improvements if you think they're desirable and cost effective.

The EPCs are very badly worded. They kind of imply the recommendations should be done in the order they are written but then put the least cost effective options at the top of the list.
It may be a good idea to have another assessor round to advise on exactly what a range of different improvements would do. Also check with your freeholder about external measures and your council about minimum room size regulations.
Some EPC assessors have years of experience, others have just qualified after completing a 3 day online course and may have no prior experience of anything housing related. An EPC result is only as accurate as the data input and if the assessor doesn't know what they're looking at the result will be wildly inaccurate.
The measures proposed will often be completely impossible in reality.
In your case loft insulation makes sense whereas internal or external insulation may be impossible. For external insulation the freeholder would need to give consent, other leaseholders below you would also need to be willing to have theirs done and any walls forming someone else's boundary could be problematic as the insulation would be encroaching on their land. Internal insulation would make your rooms smaller. Maybe too small for minimum room size requirements for the council or overall minimum property size for your mortgage lender?
The modern storage heaters are very good. Normally you would have one in the main living area of a flat and then thermostatically controlled panel heaters with timers in the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. The modern Lot 20 compliant ones are very sleek and often have apps to control them.

by Chris Bradley

10:16 AM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago

I had comments on mine like install insulation on the flat roofs, I had provided him with photos of the insulation being installed, and receipts for the insulation and the roofers invoice showing insulation was installed. Still wasn't accepted

by LaLo

10:35 AM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago

In order to get a satisfactory EPC I is was advised to install the later type storage heaters (no gas) - cost £2,500 !

by LaLo

10:42 AM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Cost £2,500 for two,

by Jo Westlake

12:34 PM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Lalo

£2500 is about right for 2 of them but unless you have a very big property why would you want more than one?

Don't forget that electric heating systems are far cheaper to maintain once they're installed. No annual gas safety check, no boiler insurance premiums. If one heater breaks it's only one heater out of action, not the whole system. Not having to pay a second standing charge (for gas) actually covers several weeks electric consumption for the tenant.

by DSR

13:32 PM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago

do step one and register for exemption This gives you 5 years grace period.
in that time the prices for step 3 then 2 might drop and you might get it all under the proposed cap of £10 k which (may) be applicable then.

The reality is there is a renting demand so you will fill the flat without issue, If they remain a tenant by the new EPC changes come in you still have the exemption AND it classes as a ongoing tenancy. All it takes is for the tenant to say the they dont agree to the work and that they want you do it after they leave, you still are not required to carry it out.

by Seething Landlord

14:52 PM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Have you already got an exemption that allows you to continue letting the flat with a rating below band E?

by Luke P

15:11 PM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago

Bridget,

You should not be renting out an 'F' or 'G' band property as it is!

by Sam Addison

18:27 PM, 25th March 2022, About 2 months ago

The suggested measures are generated by the software in that order as being cost effective. If you want to only do some of them then best to talk to the assessor who can change the in puts to match your proposed changes and can tell you the effect but without registering it as another assessment. I have a first floor flat (top storey) without gas. It had gone from E to F due to changes in calculating methods. After discussions with assessor and several recalculations I had to change heating to high heat retention storage heaters to scrape an E. Even solar panels would make no difference (stupid!). Only alternatives - external wall insulation or installing gas boiler.

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