Minimum energy efficiency standards

Carrying out energy efficiency works

Landlords are encouraged to take action as soon as possible to ensure that their properties reach EPC E by the deadline of 01 April 2020.

Identifying "relevant energy efficiency improvements"

Landlords of properties with EPC ratings of F or G will need to carry out work to improve the energy efficiency. The "relevant energy efficiency improvements" which will enable a sub-standard property to reach an EPC rating of E or above (either as a single measure, or a combination of measures as appropriate) are identified in:

  • an energy efficiency recommendations report (including the recommendations report accompanying a valid EPC), or
  • a report prepared by a surveyor, or
  • a Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR)

A landlord may install any measures they choose (even if not recommended for the property via an energy efficiency recommendations report), so long as they are confident that the measure(s) will improve their sub-standard property to a minimum of EPC E. However, if a landlord chooses to make improvements which are not “relevant energy efficiency improvements”, and those improvements fail to raise the property to a minimum of EPC E, the landlord will not then be able to let the property, or to register an exemption on the basis that they have made improvements to the property but it remains below E. In this instance the landlord will need to make further improvements to the property to try and improve the EPC rating to a minimum of E if they wish to let it. Any landlord who has made improvements to a property, but not enough to raise that property to EPC E, will only be able to register an exemption if they have first installed all “relevant energy efficiency improvements".

Planning permission

Depending on the nature of the improvement(s) you may need to obtain planning permission before undertaking works to your property. If the property is a listed building or in a conservation area you may need listed building consent to carry out the necessary works. Historic England website provides information on consent. If some of the work cannot be carried out without unacceptably harming its special character then may qualify for an exemption. You will need evidence to apply for exemption. Pre-planning advice is available from your conservation officer.

Building Regulations

You may also need to obtain approval under building regulations. These set standards for how to construct buildings to achieve a minimum level of acceptable performance. Building regulations only apply to new building work and not generally to maintenance and repair. Certain changes may trigger the need to comply eg substantial renovation or replacement. Part L of the regulations deals with energy efficiency requirements. Find out more about complying with building regulations.