A group of 14 leading property organisations lead by the Nationwide Building Society have called for Environmental Performance Certificates (EPCs) to be turned into a green property passport scheme.

This would enable the green performance of homes including rental properties to be tracked via a single EPC-based reference point, the group says.

“It is time for the EPC to become a ‘living document’, akin to a building passport, that reflects changes made to the home,” a spokesperson says.

A report by The Nationwide accompanying the campaign says the challenges of upgrading the UK’s ageing property stock is considerable and, as many landlords are aware, using heat source pumps as a replacement for gas boilers is rarely practical.

- Advertisement -

“Tackling ongoing emissions will be a major challenge, with large parts of the housing stock very ‘hard to heat’ using low carbon technologies in an economic way,” the report says.

“For example, some 81% of all EPC-assessed homes built before 1966 have an EPC rating of D or lower.

“Around one third of the 2.6 million EPC-assessed homes built since 2008 have a maximum potential EPC rating of C or below.”

Raised rating

As LandlordZONE reported last month, the NRLA recently said the government’s ambition to see all rented properties raised to an energy rating of band C or above by 2030 is a ‘pipedream’ unless upgrades are backed with financial and practical support rather than rhetoric.

The Nationwide-led group’s call for an EPC ‘building passport’ are part of a seven-point plan that it says will be needed to jump-start a ‘retrofit revolution’ and help reduce carbon emissions.

A previous attempt to do this, the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme, ended prematurely after many landlords and homeowners found it difficult to source approved contracts to do the work along with the scheme’s complicated application and financing rules.

The group led by the Nationwide also includes British Gas, Energiesprong UK, E.ON, The Federation of Master Builders, Igloo Regeneration, Legal and General Modular Homes, Midas Group Ltd, Professor Tadj Oreszczyn of the UCL Energy Institute, Rockwool UK, Smart Metering Systems, Switchd, and Trustmark.

Read the Nationwide report (opens as PDF).

Read more about property passports.


10 COMMENTS

  1. Making the changes trackable on an EPC passport does not address the simple issue that bringing the UK housing stock upto EPC C is difficult to do, incredible invasive, extremely expensive and for most people, home owners and LLs alike, simple not worth it.

    • You are totally correct.

      There are reckoned to be about 650000 rental properties that AREN’T EPC C status and as you suggest highly unlikely to be worthwhile bringing to EPC C status.

      Now how many tenants would this number of rental properties make homeless if LL don’t bother to make C status!?

      I reckon about 2 million tenants including all family occupants!!!

      So let us say Govt insists on evictions.
      This could take about 2 years.

      Will tenants continue to pay rent knowing they will be evicted……….EVENTUALLY; but there will be nothing a LL can do to get rid of them quicker.

      So the nightmare scenario of a non-EPC C status property with tenants refusing to vacate and not pay anymore rent!!??

      Could bankrupt those LL with non-EPC C properties.

      Perhaps time for LL to offload these dud properties which have the capacity to bankrupt LL.

      Unless of course Govt facilitates very quick eviction.

      Will Govt prosecute LL who still have tenants occupying non-EPC C status properties and maybe even paying rent but engaged in a very lengthy eviction process??

      If it was me I would be getting rid of all my non-EPC C status properties.

      As you suggest rarely is it cost effective to achieve EPC C status.

      Ultimately this isn’t such a big problem.

      They can just sell; though that could take some time with the dysfunctional eviction process.

      One wonders where 2 million evicted tenants will live?

  2. Another bunch of people who sit behind their laptop.

    I need practical solutions. I just wish they would explain to my builder how I can make my property to EPC rating A to C, without BS. It needs to a whole house solution. The wrong solution can make homes, which are not breathable and cause under unintended problems. Too much insulation is bad, for electric cabling….

    Landlord have had tax increases, spending thousands trying to get around tax increases. Wasting money on tax advisors, which would have been better spend on making home energy efficient.

    If this is about saving the planet, then all homes should be forced to improve EPC rating.

  3. The reality is the majority of the uks housing stock will never achieve EPC rating C, and whilst there is a national housing shortage to focus on this unachievable target is nonsense.

    All these organisations expressing their views as to what changes should be made invariably aren’t really involved in so much as they don’t own or rent properties. So the greens, the left wingers and the various chariyy supporters of homeless people , who again never actually home anyone , spout this rubbish knowing it has no impact on them. The fact all these commentators miss is that if they try and force these changes all that will happen is investor’s will exit the PRS.

    At some point the decision the government will be faced with is do they want a small but carbon efficient private rental system , sky high rents and mass homelessness or do they want to take a more pragmatic approach, to support the PRS to be efficient while accepting there aren’t enough houses to start getting picky over their carbon neutral credentials

  4. It doesn’t take brains to realize that the cheapest way to address the problem is for the occupants to wear more appropriate clothing the same as owner occupiers do when they want to save heating costs or the existing heating system is a little under par during extremely cold spells. An instantaneous and cheap solution. How else do Eskimo’s survive?

    People, including tenants, who often can’t afford it, seem to blast the heat out whenever we turn up to do repairs. Education on how to stay warm without causing condensation might be a far better solution to the problems facing tenants, landlords and the planet.

  5. The obvious consideration is that for an EPC to be a “Living document” that implies that every time an improvement is made the document needs to be upgraded = re-inspection = increased costs.

    For obvious tax reasons and in order to manage cash flow I schedule improvements over time and make gradual EPC related improvements during void periods, working towards a goal with deadlines either set by regulations or when the EPC needs renewal.

    The main reason LL’s are doing EPC related work on their rental properties is because its mandated by law.

    I imagine many of the LL’s that read this have rental properties with better EPC ratings than their own homes.
    Until the whole of the UK housing stock falls under the same regulations its all a bit of a snowball in hell scenario.
    UK is responsible for 1% of total global emissions BTW

    • Aye, but they sure don’t like the masses to know such irrelevant details, it all gets lost by the manic fanatics, who honestly believe this time next year we’ll all be extinct, we’re all going to die, thinks of the children!!

      Yep, they hardly ever touch upon ‘such minor natural facts’ the likes you’ve pointed out, or say how natural wetlands contribute approx 75% of the world’s sources of methane and so on, also irrelevant, and some would even say that all recent data, more so data from last few decades – is manipulated in who evers favour.

      Don’t get me wrong – we should never pollute and always recycle, but biggest and best single thing for the worlds health would be to reduce the biggest problem and its parasite = humans, overpopulation isn’t mentioned as often as it should.

      I’ll always remember; a once musician who became a pretty fab physicist, who had a question put his way, as he was asked about global warming, this, rebranded to climate change (as Al Gore could only take it so far, lol), Professor Cox’s face before his answer told a more bigger picture.

      Though, if he, or they, do not tow the line: gone!

      Like others without a 2nd thought, and regardless if you suffered all your life and are currently in a dark place, again, sadly because of ongoing serious mental healthier issues, but he don’t sing from their same sheet = so he was sh@t out!!

      Ah, and they never point out how vast majority of green ‘anything’ is mainly backed up by the usual polluting big (oil?) businesses, aye, it’s all irrelevant.

      Take a look at Dubai’s magnificent massive Solar Park/Farm and all it produces, and how little it actually suppliers, ho hum, manipulations, and one could go on, but there’s definitely two sides to such an argument, in fact I’m surprised they haven’t found a way to levy taxes on arguments yet 😜

      Just a sad fact that we’ll never get to know 100% of all truths, mind you, say 3 – 5 billion years our 🌞 sun 🌞 burns out anyways, do we get our taxes back then 😁

  6. I notice Nationwide are involved in build to rent, and I suspect the others advocating this scheme have an interest in build to rent as well. With modern new builds that will meet the criteria they are advocating, what better way to neutralise the competition by pressing for standards many of their competitors would struggle to meet.

  7. EPC’s the biggest con going. I installed about £2000 worth of insulation internally and was told by the assesor that it can’t be taken into account if they can’t see it. But put some LED bulbs in that you can take out after they’ve gone and that does count towards the assesment.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here