From April 2018, it became unlawful for landlords of privately rented properties (both domestic and non-domestic) in England and Wales to grant a new tenancy to a new or existing tenant on a property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E. These regulations will apply to ALL privately rented domestic properties from 1st April 2020 and for non-domestic properties from 1st April 2023.
Landlords of domestic properties could be fined up to £5000 for each property that fails to meet the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES), while for commercial properties penalties are linked to the rateable value and are likely be considerably more (although in both cases there are exemptions for specific situations). Some landlords may still not be aware of the looming deadline or what they should do about it.
According to the Government, up to 25 per cent of properties have an E rating or below. The Government has already indicated that it may raise the minimum standard further over the next decade. There are many measures landlords can take to improve energy efficiency. Wall insulation is very effective but not all properties have the option of cavity wall insulation and in these cases external wall insulation (EWI) may provide a solution.
Eurobrick offers two EWI systems. The backer panels used for X-Clad and V-Clad are excellent insulators and have proven to save energy and reduce heating bills. Both panels have a BRE Green Guide Rating of A and can be supplied in a range of thicknesses up to 100mm to help meet the energy saving targets of a project. X-Clad has been independently certified by the British Board of Agrément (BBA) and is LABC (Local Authority Building Control) registered.
These systems have a brick finish and can be retrofitted directly to an existing masonry wall. As the vernacular building material of a large proportion of building stock, using a brick slip EWI system preserves the brick finish while enhancing the thermal performance of the building.
This house in Wilford, Nottingham, was poorly insulated and as you can see from the thermal images, it was losing a significant amount of heat through the walls. After installation of Eurobrick’s X-Clad system you can see a definite improvement in the heat loss. The owners of the house went on to say that they benefitted from reducing their energy bills by one third following the installation, as well as reducing condensation significantly and providing an overall improved living environment.
The first step is to obtain an up-to-date energy performance certificate, to assess the level of improvement required. Landlords will then be able to work out what measures are needed and how this can be funded. Improvements to rental properties do not just benefit the tenants, for landlords it is an investment and there are benefits to be gained from a well maintained, energy efficient property. These regulations have made these improvements inevitable, so it makes sense for landlords to act now and get the most out of their properties on the rental market.