The UK government's stance on energy-efficient homes has been a bit up in the air following Rishi Sunak's September speech.
With the EPC rating of C by 2025 deadline seemingly scrapped with no talk of if and when this may return, should our UK landlords simply bid farewell to energy-efficient home upgrades?
Before you continue to read on, it's worth mentioning that although the 2025 deadline won't be happening, it doesn't mean that the government's plan for more energy-efficient homes has been scrapped altogether.
"At some point, it will be announced, and whether it's now or later, landlords will at some point need to make these changes." - Andrew, EPC Assessor, Assessment Hive
Making such financially hard-hitting deadlines for UK landlords amidst a cost-of-living and housing crisis could have been a real challenge for the UK rental market; the UK government recognised this, and postponing was likely the right call for right now.
But it doesn't mean energy efficiency shouldn't be a priority; in fact, if you consider your rental property as a long-term investment, working towards a more energy-efficient property right now is the best decision you can make.
We recently sat down with Accredited EPC Assessor Andrew from Assessment Hive to get his expert insight on how UK landlords should move forward in light of the recent changes.
Supply and demand
"The biggest incentive for landlords to make changes now is cost. Insulation costs, heating costs and anything in the future will likely quadruple" - Andrew, EPC Assessor, Assessment Hive
So, as we mentioned before, whilst there hasn't been an official announcement to replace the 2025 deadline, we're confident that whether it's decided now or later, landlords will need to boost their energy efficiency rating at some point.
It's likely that when the new deadline is announced, the demand for materials and contractors is going to rise, making supply short and, of course, supply then becomes more expensive.
Fewer Void Periods
An energy-efficient property isn't just good for the planet; it's excellent in reducing those energy bills for your residents. The cheaper the home is to heat, the more affordable it is; therefore, your residents will likely stay longer.
Window improvement, for example, is a top priority for today's renters. We actively seek feedback from our residents, and when asked what they would change about their property, a staggering 43% mentioned windows.
"Imagine it from the tenant's point of view. If you've got single-glazed windows, there's no point putting the heating on; it just doesn't work. You'd spend so much money blasting the heating 24/7, and the property still remains cold. Every single glazed property that we visit, tenants complain about it. They just get fed up, and at some point, it just adds to their choice in leaving" - Andrew, EPC Assessor, Assessment Hive
Ultimately, residents are looking for a comfortable living environment that's easy and affordable to heat. If your home is non-efficient, it just isn't sustainable for the average resident to live there for a long period of time.
The Energy-Efficient Dealbreaker
Considering the UK's cold climate, living in a non-efficient home and maintaining a comfortable environment can have a significant financial impact on the average working resident. The recent rise in the cost of energy bills has meant that energy efficiency has quickly changed from a preference to a dealbreaker.
"Energy prices are still high. That's not going to change. It's going to continue where it's going. So, if a tenant can save money and you can demonstrate that on an EPC, and say, look, the EPC grade is quite good, then you'll attract a higher standard of tenant" - Andrew, EPC Assessor, Assessment Hive.
Without making the necessary efficient heat-loss upgrades, your property becomes almost unaffordable to a large portion of the market, and you'll find that residents who do move in can't afford to stay for long.
In conclusion, while the UK government's decision to postpone the 2025 EPC rating deadline may offer some relief to landlords, it certainly doesn't signal the end of the road for energy-efficient home upgrades.
Proactive landlords who invest in energy efficiency now will find themselves ahead of the curve.
Our conversation with Accredited EPC Assessor Andrew emphasises the importance of informed decision-making. As the narrative of energy-efficient homes unfolds, UK landlords should recognise the value in staying ahead, not just to meet regulatory standards, but to secure the long-term desirability of their rental properties and avoid the hard-hitting financial investment required when the new deadline is announced.
For further information or to find out where you're at with your current rating, book an EPC with Assessment Hive .
Whilst you're here, why not read "Your landlord checklist of deductible expenses" or "Top 5 property maintenance issues that can become costly if neglected"