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Energy efficiency standards in private rented properties

If you live in a private rented property and have an assured tenancy or a regulated tenancy, the property probably needs an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

What an Energy Performance Certificate is

An EPC contains:

  • information about a property's energy use and typical energy costs
  • recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money

The EPC rating scale goes from A (the most energy-efficient properties) to G (the least energy-efficient properties). Private rented properties should be rated at least E.

Properties rated F or G are classed as sub-standard. It is illegal to rent these properties out, unless there is a valid exemption.

The EPC also recommends improvements that could be made to the property, and the potential savings (both energy and financial) these could make.

Although properties with the highest EPC rating (A) may have lower energy bills, it may not always be possible to get the highest rating. This could be due to the property's age, design, or construction. For example, making improvements to a property in a conservation area or with listed building status may not be possible.

Improving energy efficiency

There are many ways to improve energy performance, including:

  • upgrading lights to use LED light bulbs
  • insulating lofts, floors, and walls
  • investing in double or triple glazing
  • upgrading boilers
  • installing smart meters and smart thermostats
  • draught-proofing windows and doors
  • using renewable energy like solar panels

Any substantial changes to a property are the landlord's responsibility, but as a tenant you should be aware of the EPC rating, and what steps could be taken to make the property more energy efficient, cheaper to run, and more comfortable to live in.

Properties rated F or G have very poor energy efficiency, and usually have problems with mould and other potential hazards. You're likely to experience excess cold, damp, and condensation. If the EPC rating of your rented property is F or G, call the Public Protection team on 01642 726001 for advice.

Where can I find EPC ratings?

If a landlord or letting agent advertises a property for sale or rent, they must provide a free copy of the EPC to the buyer or new tenant. It's illegal not to provide a copy of the EPC.

What should I do if I have not been given a copy of my property's EPC?

EPCs only need to be renewed if there has been a new or renewed tenancy agreement, otherwise they last for 10 years. If the EPC has not been given to you, or the property does not have an EPC, speak to your landlord or their agent first. If they cannot provide you with a copy of the EPC, call the Public Protection team on 01642 726001 for advice.

Further advice