The late, great John Wooden once said “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be”. There is perhaps no more appropriate quote to explain just how detrimental a bad EPC Rating can be. Wooden is correct in stating that failure isn’t fatal. In actual fact, you cannot fail an EPC survey, it is simply not possible.However, failure to change when a bad EPC Rating presents itself could very well be fatal; when an EPC survey is conducted on your property, an assessor will hand you a mark of between 1 and 100. Depending on your final mark, your property will be ranked in an A-G scale.
For example, if your property scores an 8, your EPC Rating will be a G. This constitutes the worst possible mark and will require you to change the energy efficiency of your property drastically if you ever wish to attract prospective buyers or renters. However, if your property scores a 96, you will be given an EPC Rating of A. This will stand you in good stead when you are looking to sell or let as this indicates an energy efficient, economical property.
Some prospective tenants or buyers, however, will not care about the EPC Rating of a property, so why should you bother? Unfortunately for those whose attitude to change and improve an EPC is nonchalant, they are in for a big surprise.
In April, the British Government imposed a law stating that any homeowner whose property is rented out in the private sector must hold an EPC Rating of E or above. Those whose properties hold a rating of F or G, will be subjected to severe fines (of up to £4,000 at a time) and will not be permitted to take on new tenants until their rating has been improved.
Failure to change is certainly fatal in regards to EPC. So there is no excuse not to make alterations to the property. It will ensure that your money goes to better use than paying expensive fines. Considering the minimal value of some of the ways that energy efficiency can be improved in your property, it really is a no brainer!
Simple, economical fixes such as adding over 10mm of insulation to your loft, replacing your current lights with low-energy alternatives or insulating your hot water tank, will almost certainly improve your EPC Rating substantially. Sure, to reach the dizzy heights of an A or B Rating, significant measures may need to be taken, including double glazing all windows in a property, replacing the heating system and installing solar panels. However, this is not a compulsory requirement and will likely not be needed to lift your EPC Rating to an E or above.
While an EPC survey is a test you cannot fail, it is a test that you can get seriously wrong. So take heed of Wooden’s words when your next EPC survey is being conducted. After all, it only takes a few changes to avoid fatality.