Everyone should be doing their bit to help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint on the globe – yet the question is, is that burden being put too much on the shoulders of Sheffield landlords with potential bills of £7,800+ in the next four years?
The UK has obligated itself to a legally binding target to be carbon neutral by 2050. One of the biggest producers of greenhouse gasses is residential homes.
To hit that carbon-neutral target, as one-fifth of the UK’s carbon output comes from residential property, every UK home will need to achieve a minimum grade of ‘C’ on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) by 2035. Each EPC has a rating between ‘A’ and ‘G’ – ‘A’ being the best energy rating and ‘G’ the worst – like an energy rating on a fridge or washing machine.
All UK rental properties will have required an EPC. Yet, from April 2020, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations have required all private rental properties (including rental renewals) to have a minimum EPC rating of ‘E’ or above.
Yet new legislation being discussed by the Government’s Climate Change Committee has suggested that landlords should play their part and increase the energy efficiency of their private rented homes. Sounds fair until you dive into the details.
The Government is muting the idea that all new tenancies (i.e. when a new tenant moves in) in private rented properties should be at an EPC rating of ‘C’ or above by 2025 (and all existing tenancies by 2028). The issue is …
66.42% of all private rented properties in Sheffield have an EPC rating of ‘D’ or below.
The problem is some Sheffield landlords will find it very expensive, neigh impossible, to improve the energy efficiency of their Sheffield rented properties, especially those Sheffield landlords who hold older housing stock such as terraced properties built in the 1800s. These Victorian terraced houses never perform well on EPC ratings as they have solid walls.
Now, of course, you can improve the EPC rating of a terraced house by improving roof insulation, boiler replacement, solar heating, and high-grade uPVC windows. Yet, with some terraced houses, there will come the point where you will be unable to get to the haloed ‘C’ rating without installing external or internal wall insulation, sometimes even floor insulation.
With wall insulation costing between £5k and £15k and floor insulation around £5k …
the bill to improve all Sheffield’s private rented
properties will be a minimum of £53,674,330.
But before I talk about what the options are for Sheffield landlords, here’s the weird part of EPC’s.
An EPC rating is calculated on the cost of running a property and not the carbon output or energy efficiency, despite its name.
Given that a massive 57% of private rented properties are below a ‘C’ EPC grade, it is hard to believe the Government could achieve this without making big cash grants available.
What are your thoughts on this?
As always, thanks for reading
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