Hello Readers! Welcome back to the Cullen Property blog. Today we will be discussing everything you need to know about EPC ratings in Scotland – what are they, how to get one, how to improve it and the delayed plans to introduce minimum ratings for residential letting properties.
Scotland-based landlords, investors and tenants should be up to date with the delayed Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property (Scotland) Regulations 2020 which originally explains that all properties in Scotland require an EPC rating of at least ‘E’ at the beginning by the 31st of March, 2022, with any new tenancies started from the 1st of April 2022 requiring an EPC rating of at least ‘D’. Furthermore, by the 31st of March 2025, all properties will require at least an EPC rating of ‘D’. However, given COVID disruption, the plans as they were previously defined have been scrapped with the view of revisiting them in the future.
Before we begin, why not learn more about our Edinburgh letting agency services which aim to make your life easier if you are looking to let, improve upon or source a rental property. With our services, you can be confident in your approach to getting things right in the eye of the law when letting out your property.
What Are The EPC Ratings In Scotland?
EPC Ratings in Scotland can be complex at first, but really, they are a simple and effective way of assessing the energy efficiency of a property using the ‘A’-‘G’ scale. ‘A’ of course is the most efficient a property can be, and ‘G’ is the least. A revised focus on EPC Ratings in Scotland comes at a time of increased energy/utility costs and a worsening environmental crisis.
Put simply, EPC ratings in Scotland are a way to indicate how efficient your property is and provides a rough estimate of what to expect when considering ongoing bills associated with powering and heating your property. They are valid for 10 years and include recommendations for improvement, the costs associated and the potential long-term savings that they can generate.
Why Do I Need An EPC Rating?
Anyone who seeks to let or sell a property will require an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). The Scottish Government have made it a particular focus to ensure that everyone in Scotland can live in a comfortable home that is affordable to heat and maintain. This is why the Government has considered imposing minimums to support this overarching goal, however the plans have been postponed due to COVID.
What Are The EPC Ratings?
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How Do I Get An EPC Rating In Scotland?
If you have sold or let-out your property after 04/01/2009, your property should already have an Energy Performance Rating (EPC). EPC ratings in Scotland are visible on the register viewable here. A record of your EPC can also be found in your home report if you had received one during the sales transaction.
What If My Property Doesn’t Comply With The Minimum EPC Ratings In Scotland?
Landlords who fail to comply with the potential upcoming changes to EPC ratings in Scotland will be subject to civil fines which can be issued by your local authority. If you are in this position, and need help meeting the suspended upcoming deadlines, please feel free to contact us to ensure you are clued up on what is expected of you as and when plans change. It's always better to be prepared for the inevitable!
There are many questions you might be asking yourself if you find yourself in this position, such as ‘how much will it cost to bring my properties up to the required EPC ratings in Edinburgh?'. At Cullen Property, we work closely with a trusted supplier list of contractors and will be able to give you a quote and free, impartial advice. Prices will vary depending on your unique situation, so please get in touch to discuss your unique circumstances as a landlord.
How Do I Improve My Property’s EPC Rating?
There are many ways that you can improve upon your Scottish EPC rating, and these are detailed within the report itself.
According to EDF, the following are some of the most effective ways to improve your rating:
- Double glazing – upgrading your windows and doors won’t just improve your home’s energy performance, it can reduce noise too!
- Loft insulation – It’s easy to install, inexpensive and can make a huge difference to your bills. Install loft insulation that’s at least 270mm thick.
- Wall insulation – Whether your home has cavity or solid walls, insulating them can improve your EPC rating and you might qualify for help with the costs.
- Replace your boiler – You can cut your energy bills with a new, energy-efficient boiler.
- An efficient secondary heating source – Installing a wood-burning stove instead of an open fireplace can give you greater fuel efficiency and reduced costs in the long run.
- Solar panels – These produce cheaper, greener energy.
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