Ward Williams Associates talk to us about EPC compliance

Those of you who have a leasehold or freehold interest in property will no doubt remember the introduction of the Energy Act in 2011. However, did you know that under Regulation 23, from 1st April 2018 (with very limited exceptions),  it will be illegal to grant a new, or renew existing leases for residential or commercial premises with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of less than ‘E’?

An EPC is a legal requirement for all properties that are built, sold or leased, and contains information about the buildings energy use, typical utility costs and any recommendations for improvements.

From this year, legislation will allow tenants to request that recommendations made under the EPC are implemented to increase energy efficiency, which the landlord may not ‘unreasonably’ refuse. To ensure that there are no upfront costs, landlords will not be obliged to make improvements unless Green Deal finance, Energy Company Obligation or other funding support is available.

Continuing pressures to reduce energy use may also result in the EPC thresholds rising to ‘C’ or above and are already reportedly affecting lease renewals, portfolio income and investment values.

For those with property assets, an ‘Early Identification Review’ would provide actions for achieving compliance, or exceeding the ‘E’ rating, thus avoiding the negative impact on value and income, and not to mention substantial penalties.

WWA’s new business iWWA are ‘Smart Technology Specialists’ and along with WWA’s construction/property expertise are working with clients to provide solutions to address the risks associated with non-compliance, providing cost effective options to achieve ratings of ‘E’ and above, across domestic and commercial property portfolio’s.

Martin Ayliffe, WWA Director said: “We are seeing a significant increase in work associated with future proofing portfolio values and rental incomes through improving the EPC rating of residential and commercial property.”

Martin Ayliffe
Martin Ayliffe

“Through reviewing the performance of the building fabric and M&E installations, target areas can be addressed, from additional wall and roof insulation to improvements to space heating and building management.”

iWWA Director Scott James, adds: “Our suite of services aligns to the statutory requirements of EPC’s, whilst providing new opportunities for operational savings for clients.

“Environmentally sustainable premises improve rental levels and business operations.  Our team of specialists across WWA and iWWA are able to model ‘pay-back’ for varying levels of investment associated with improvements in EPC ratings.”

Scott James
Scott James

With increasing demands on the construction industry, it is recommended that early consideration should be given to assessing, procuring and implementing improvement works. This ensures last-minute delays are avoided with regard to grant funding applications, associated procurement and undertaking improvements, which could lead to poorly executed works and at worst, failure to achieve compliance.

Landlords should also give careful consideration to the EPC ‘target’ rating achieved. A ‘pass’ at an ‘E’ rating may not be as attractive to potential occupiers when there are buildings with a higher EPC-rating, which have lower running costs, and are as such better value.

For more information about how WWA can be of assistance, please contact:

Daryl Hill

Senior Associate Director

T: 01872 272 906

E: enquiries@wwasurveyors.com