EPC Band F
EPC Band F
What Causes EPC Rating Band F? – And How To Fix It.
In this article I’ll explain the factors that causes a property to have an F energy rating on an EPC.
More importantly we’ll look at solutions on how to improve it.
Before I explain what causes a property to have an energy rating of an F, it’s important to understand the EPC rating scale.
The Energy Performance Certificate or EPC for short will rate the property in terms of energy efficiency from 0-100, with an A being (the best) to a G (the worst).
So you can see an F rating is pretty poor.
However it’s still not as poor as a G but you’ll going to have to make some energy efficiency improvements to get it to the magical number of at least an E39. From 2025 this is expected to be increased to an EPC band C.
So Why Does A Home Have An Energy Efficiency Rating Of An F?
To product the home epc rating, information is gathered from the property about the existing:
- Heat loss areas of the property (ie, external walls, roofs & floors)
- The lighting
- The type of Glazing
- The current heating system and controls
- The amount of Insulation present
Around 80% of the rating of the EPC is determined by 3 main elements, these are:
- The heating system and controls.
- The amount of insulation present.
- The main fuel source used to heat the home (i.e gas, electric, LPG etc).
If your property rates poorly on any 2 of these then the energy rating has a high likelihood of being an F or lower.
The Impact Of Type of Fuel Used to Heat The Home – This may surprise you.
The fuel type plays a massive part in the final energy rating of a property.
The reason is that some types of fuel are very expensive to heat a property and hence rates the epc lower.
For example a 20 year old gas boiler with still rate better than a band new peak rate electric heating.
Here are some comparative costs to heat a house depending on fuel source. The EPC calculates how many kWHs it needs to heat a house and produce the hot water. Here is a list of the most expensive to cheapest fuel sources.
Older properties in villages, where there is no mains gas available, or older properties that are heated by LPG or peak rate electric are most likely to have an epc energy rating of F or lower.
Lower energy rated properties costs significantly more to heat.
Why Achieving An EPC rating on An E Is Important
Under the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) which came into effect in April 2020, it is illegal to rent a property that has an energy rating of an F or G, unless it has a valid exemption. I will go into the reasons where an exemption may apply in another article.
Properties that are rated F or G are costly to run. Also what frequently happens is that tenants that find it difficult to cover the running cost end up inadequately heating the property which can end up with mould and condensation forming on cold un-insulated areas of the property such as the walls and roof.
Although there is no legal requirement for a property that’s for sale to meet any minimum energy standard, some lenders may put additional lending criteria on properties that are below an E rating.
Here’s How To Improve The EPC Rating
Now we know the main factors that are likely to lower your energy rating, how do we go about getting it to an E?
If you have an F rating that’s more than 8 points away from the target E39 then it’s likely you’re going to have to make an improvement to at least one of the key rating factors mentioned earlier which is the heating, insulation, or fuel type.
If the rating is less than 8 points short of an E, then you may get away with less bigger improvements, such as heating controls, hot water cylinder thermostat or low energy lights.
Following this step by step guide, you should be able to get your property to reach the minimum E energy rating.
STEP 1 – Get an updated EPC if you don’t have a new one.
Your old EPC may not show improvements made to the property that are not reflected on the EPC. You can check how long your epc is valid for.
You will need the most current information of the property so that your Energy Assessor can run through different scenarios in the software to see what needs to be done to get you to your target. Note: your Assessor may charge additional for this.
STEP 2 – Produce documentary evidence of any insulation that can’t be seen by the Assessor.
Your Assessor can only put information into the software that calculates the EPC if they have photographic evidence (which is normally gathered during the visit), or documentary evidence.
In the case of insulation, often this can’t be seen, especially when it comes to floor insulation, loft conversion insulation, sloping and flat roof insulation. This has a big impact on the rating.
On the EPC Certificate, anywhere it say “no insulation assumed” may be contributing to lowering the energy rating and will need investigating.
In the absence of any evidence, the software will use the worst case scenario and will use what the property would have been built with.
In the case of older properties this may have a detrimental effect on the EPC rating. Remember – your Assessor cannot enter information because you say it’s there.
It’s the customer’s responsibility to provide suitable documentary evidence, such as a receipt detailing the work carried out, or building plans, or completion certificates from the Local Authority.
STEP 3 – Get Your Assessor To Produce A Customised Detailed MEES Report
If your property is below an E, then it’s going to mean some effort and perhaps costs on your part to get to the minimum standard.
It also means additional work on your Assessor’s part so you’ll probably be charged for this. However, this will be money well spent, as the Energy Assessor can play with different scenarios within the software and can offer you different scenarios.
This report is generally called a Minimum Energy Efficiency Report or Mees Report.
If the first improvement on the EPC is going to get you to an E rating and it’s a practical improvement that can be actually be done then you won’t need a detailed report.
However if it’s not, then there are going to be numerous different scenarios that can be run and only your Assessor will be able to tell you the exact rating depending on each scenario.
In rare cases it may not be possible to achieve the required E rating. In this situation, or if you have spent at least £3500 (inc Vat) and the property still does not reach an E, you can then apply for an exemption.
More information about applying for a MEES exemption can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/private-rented-sector-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-exemptions/guidance-on-prs-exemptions-and-exemptions-register-evidence-requirements.
Don’t guess yourself which improvements to undertake, as all improvements are not equal and you may be disappointed if you spend unnecessary money to no avail.
Work with your Assessor and you’ll get to an E rating that will take into account the least disturbance to the property and the lowest costs improvements to get your property compliant.
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