£2.5 billion is spent on heating and cooling buildings in Scotland every year and it’s the Scottish Government’s aim to reduce that figure to reduce fuel poverty and the effects of climate change.*
From 1st October 2020 (extended from April 2020), as part of the Scottish Government’s Energy Efficient Scotland Programme, Landlords will have to ensure that their rental properties achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Rating of Band E for any new tenancies, extending to all private rental properties with sitting tenants by 31st March 2022.**
Furthermore, as from 1st April 2022, properties must achieve a minimum EPC rating of Band D for new tenancies and this too will be rolled out by 2025.
For some properties, it’ll be an easy fix to improve their EPC banding score (eg. changing light-bulbs throughout to energy efficient LED bulbs). However, some Landlords may have to consider improvements such as double glazing, loft insulation, etc.
Scottish Association of Landlords has advised that “in some situations it is proposed that there will be exemptions, including where:
• It is not technically feasible to carry out improvements
• Where other owners in a block of flats refuse consent to do work to common parts of the building
• Where tenants refuse consent for work
• Where permission to carry out work to a property which is listed or in a conservation area can’t be obtained
• Where the cost of improvements needed in the period 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2022 exceeds £5000, and where the cost of improvements needed in the period after 31 March 2022 exceeds
It is intended that for all EPC related works, landlords will only be required to carry out such work where the cost of purchasing and installing it can be financed by means of funding provided by a grant or loan from Scottish Ministers.
Further details of proposed exemptions can be read in part 4 of the government’s draft guidance.
Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the standard and granting exemptions. It is proposed that fines of up to £5000 can be levied on those owners who don’t comply with the minimum standard or provide false or misleading information on the exemptions register”.