Energy Efficiency: Prepare Now for New Changes in 2025
Energy efficiency is on everyone’s radar, so there’s no doubt that Brits are seeking new ways of conserving and saving energy.
UK households are already struggling with everyday costs, and with the Bank of England’s recent announcement that it would be raising interest rates to 0.5% means these spikes will push everyone to look into new ways of saving.
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Sadly, 44% of home owners reported at the end of last year (2021) that they were not using their heating during winter. Data gathered by Smart Energy GB also found that 57% of tenants are worrying about their energy costs, to the extent that it is impacting their mental health – with 62% stating that they were worried how they were going to pay their bills.
Why is energy efficiency important?
In 2008, the UK had originally committed to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. But climate change is quickening its pace, as research shows its effects have been worse than expected. During the international COP 26 hosted in Glasgow 2021, the UK government made a public commitment to get to ‘net zero’ by 2050.
Have you heard of the energy efficiency term ‘MEES’ before? This is a regulation that requires a Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) be met before properties in England and Wales can be let in certain circumstances. Keep in mind it can also give residential tenants rights to make energy efficiency improvements to their property, despite the restrictions in their lease.
By spending on older properties to meet future energy efficiency standards, you’re not just ‘going greener’, but you’re also investing long-term by making an impact on your property returns. This will most certainly pay dividends in years to come as more and more future tenants and buyers begin to look to buy and rent more eco-friendly properties.
Why is my EPC rating important for energy efficiency?
Your EPC rating is important because it can help in the long run make that step towards the UK’s environmental targets. Everyone – including landlords – can play a huge part in ‘going green’ and reaching the goal of net zero.
It’s important to ensure that your EPCs are up to date of course, as EPCs are crucial in sharing info about carbon dioxide emissions and all the details you need about your fuel costs – allowing you and your tenant to budget and save even further!
- Certification. EPCs are awarded from A (most efficient) to G (most inefficient). A property with high efficiency is more affordable to run, with utility bills like gas and electricity lower than homes with a high inefficiency rating. As the average UK home is rated between bands D to E, the plan is to get that average up.
- Minimum EPC rating. Since the 1st of October 2008, landlords letting whole properties must have a valid minimum EPC rating of E provided to their prospective tenants. Currently, over three million rental properties have an EPC rating of D or below.
- Future EPC requirements. Both residential and commercial landlords are currently contemplating the costs of updating their older properties to the proposed new standard, so there’s no doubt you’re thinking about it, too! The new standard, which will very likely be an EPC band of C, will be required by December 2025. So you have some time, but better to start thinking about it now and spreading the cost of updates.
How can I prepare for energy efficiency changes?
- Switch to LED. One of the cheapest and quickest changes you can make to get a step closer to energy efficiency is to switch to efficient and eco-friendly LEDs. With the ban of halogen bulbs as of September 2021, this could mean a continued shift to LEDS, potentially seeing a cut of around 1.26million tonnes of CO2!
- Get smart. Smart meters are a great idea to give tenants the ease of knowing exactly what they’re spending day to day – allowing them to adjust the behaviour and energy consumption as needed. Smart tech can also be a hassle-free option tailored to suit any budget, helping tenants save money in the long-run as they can programme heating and lighting. Getting a new boiler will most likely cost you up to £1,500, but smart meters are free and installed by the energy supplier – allowing the cost to be absorbed into the energy bill.
- Upgrade windows. Windows are a quick way to update your property to be more energy efficient. Older windows are more likely to be inefficient in saving energy, so it’s worth looking into investing in some double or even triple glazed windows.
- Update insulation. Perhaps an insulation renovation is needed. Like windows, the right amount of insulation means that less energy is needed to heat the property. It’s a big investment indeed, but really pays off in the long run. Don’t forget you can ask your local council if there is any support available for these large updates.
- Solar panels. You can also turn to solar energy – another beneficial option for a bright future. Solar energy cuts down costs for tenant bills allowing that sunlight to pour in. Just be sure to check the panel can be easily installed as not all properties are suited for this type of unique installation.
- Adding an EV charger. The future is definitely electric, so why aren’t we investing in more electrical energy efficient options? We’ve seen how damaging the fuel crisis during 2021 was, causing a dramatic pause in the lives of countless Brits across the UK who either had to fuel up late at night or wait endless hours in the queue.
- Start planning now. The early bird catches the worm as they say, so if you were contemplating updating your properties to make more energy efficient changes, chances are bringing your plans forward will help reduce those high energy bill costs sooner than later. You can also spread the cost of updates over the next couple of years, so you can meet the 2025 deadline in a timely and cost effective manner.
Perhaps this can drive inspiration for much needed change, reminding us all that it’s time we level up to avoid future disasters.
We hope the information you’ve been given could help you become one step closer towards energy efficiency. Whether you’re going for an eco-friendly tiny home or you’re looking to get on the property ladder the traditional way, Mashroom is a great place to start on your journey. Make your landlord life easier with free listings and sign up to find access to all the services you could need.