Many people will be aware that the UK signed the Paris Climate Agreement with a commitment to be carbon emissions neutral by 2050.
Some people will be aware of Minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings for landlord’s letting residential property to have an EPC minimum C for new tenants by 2025 and for all existing and rollover tenants by 2028.
Hardly anyone has heard of the Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings (No.2) Bill 2021 that will make it law that many properties in England and Wales will have to have a minimum EPC C rating by 2035 at the latest. We are all required to manage down and cut our emissions to enable the government to achieve its net zero target.
Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings (No.2) Bill 2021
- 20/07/2021 First reading in the House of Commons.
- 06/05/2022 Second reading in the House of Commons.
- Parliament then closed for summer recess and since then politics has been volatile, with 3 Prime Ministers, 4 Chancellors and multiple changes in the Cabinet.
- Inflation, interest rates, energy crisis and Russia/Ukraine has taken over.
The Bill is stalled but it is still out there, and it will come.
Targets in Bill – For All Homes
Thinking of buying or selling your main home?
- Property with Mortgage - lenders must ensure that the average EPC on their portfolio of mortgaged properties must be a C or above by 31/12/2030. This means lenders will no doubt offer mortgages on better terms for EPC C and above and may not even lend on a property rated EPC D or below. In short:
- If you are looking to buy a home with a mortgage, make sure the property is a C or above.
- If you are selling, you need to get your property up to a C.
- Social housing must comply with a minimum EPC C by 2035.
- Owners of their homes without a mortgage must comply with a minimum EPC C by 2035. You may not be able to sell you property with a grade C unless
- It is not practical to make improvements e.g., a listed building.
- It is not cost effective e.g., the costs to upgrade would far outweigh the energy cost savings over the medium and longer term.
- It is not affordable to make improvements (no doubt the government will set strict criteria on this).
- New Build Property – must be net zero build and energy efficient for all property built after 1 January 2025.
- There are 25 million homes in England and Wales.
- Of those, 15 million homes need upgrading to achieve an EPC rating of C.
- Only 1 in 10 properties built before 1930 have an EPC of C or above.
- 1/4 of energy is lost through your roof.
- 1/4 of energy is lost through your doors and windows.
- 1/3 of energy is lost through your external walls.
It therefore makes sense to get better insulation as well as efficient heating systems.
Costs of Improvements Example: Edwardian 4 bed terraced home built in 1911 (typical pre-WW2 UK housing stock)
- New Windows (new efficient double glazed or triple glazed) - £15,000.
- Loft Insulation (up to 300mm thickness) - £1,000.
- Solid Floor Insulation - £5,000.
- External Wall Insulation (external or internal) - £10,000 to £20,000.
- Energy Efficient Gas Boiler - £2,250
- Hydrogen Gas Boiler - £2,250
- Electrical Storage Heaters X 10 = £600 each = £6,000.
- Ground Heat Pump and Exchanger - £10,000 to £20,000.
- Solar Panels including Battery - £10,000.
- Energy efficient water heater/dual cylinder tank - £800.
Clearly, you should pick and choose what are the best options for your home. Insulation is clearly a good option as well as upgrading gas boilers or change all electric heaters to efficient storage heaters.
Make no mistake, this Bill is here and the Law is coming, and we would all do well as homeowners to start making at least one improvement every year to our homes.
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