EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
The Green Deal is the new Government Initiative, which intends to reduce carbon emissions cost-effectively throughout the UK. The scheme aims to offer consumers energy efficient improvements to homes and buildings with no upfront costs, but a payment plan through the consumers energy bill.
The scheme is not means-tested and open to both building owners and tenants. The repayments are made by whoever pays the energy bill for the property, as it is they who will benefit from any energy-efficiency improvement measures.
At the core of the Green Deal is the ‘Golden Rule’ principle, whereby the predicted monthly savings from the improvement must be equal to or greater than the monthly repayment costs and the repayment period must not exceed the expected life span of the measure. Therefore, the bill-payer shouldn’t see any increase in their energy bills.
A new and improved Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has been developed to deliver an improved EPC that customers can rely on, yet effectively support the Green Deal Policy. The EPC provides a rating of the energy performance of a domestic or non-domestic building on a scale of A-G, and is the basis to identify the potential impact of a range of proposed improvement measures.
An EPC is required by law when a building is built, sold or let. (www.directgov.uk)
By law you should be provided an EPC on request when buying a home, buying a newly built home or renting a property. (www.directgov.uk)
If an EPC is not provided trading standards officers have the power to issue a fixed penalty notice of £200 for domestic properties. (www.directgov.uk)
The Private Rented Sector
The Green Deal incentive will be beneficial to both landlords and tenants. Energy efficient improvements can be made by the landlord or tenant without having to pay for them upfront. The tenant will pay back the measures via their energy bill in instalments, whilst benefitting from lower energy bills.
The sector has the highest proportion of least energy efficient homes - 5.8% of G rated properties compared with 3.4% in owner-occupier. (www.decc.gov.uk)
20% of households in the English private rented sector are fuel poor. (www.decc.gov.uk)
From April 2016, private residential landlords will be unable to refuse a tenant's reasonable request for consent to energy efficiency improvements where a finance package, such as the Green Deal and/or the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), is available.
Provisions in the Act also provide powers to ensure that from April 2018, it will be unlawful to rent out a residential or business premise that does not reach a minimum energy ef?ciency standard, which is targeted at an EPC rating of E.