A growing chorus of landlords and housing experts have queried the EPC appraisal process with some claiming that expensive upgrades won’t make any difference to the final EPC score.
Landlords will be expected to raise their properties to band C for all tenancies by 2028, but in a recent survey of 70 valuers by Countrywide Surveying Services, more than 30% said EPCs were not accurate or a reliable source or of high quality.
“The quality of EPCs is often questioned as is the calculation methodology and the growing number of assumptions made to produce the report,” says Ana Bajri, senior technical manager – risk and compliance.
Professor David Emmerson, whose family owns five rental properties, says the country is struggling under a grotesquely unfit-for-purpose algorithm which rewards gas boilers and ‘modern’ night-time electric storage heaters from the 1970s.
He adds: “There are several flaws in the EPC methodology as the price of external energy purchased is factored in the EPC algorithm which makes a nonsense of the EPC being a measure of the intrinsic energy performance of the dwelling itself.”
One landlord agrees the EPC method of rating properties is not objective or consistent. “I have two identical purpose-built flats in the same block that have been rated differently, which suggests that the rating process is not standardised or fair,” she says.
“How can landlords work out the effect of improvements if the ‘experts’ responsible for determining the ratings don’t even know?”
Another landlord’s property received a D rating but she discovered it needed thousands of pounds spent on improvements which she could never recoup as the rent is only £530 a month.
“Our rental house is stone built and our tenant is very happy, and states that the house is warm. If we sell up, what will happen to our tenant?” She adds: “I would be happy to support a campaign to fight this injustice.”
An spokeswoman says: “EPC assessments don’t take into account measures which may be hidden, for example cavity wall insulation, unless the property owner has documentary evidence that they have been installed.
“This can mean that assessments and ratings are inconsistent. We are calling for building renovation passports to replace EPCs.
“These would provide accurate information about the measures already installed and identify what further works can be made to properties in the long-term.
“They would also provide landlords with useful information about what measures will improve their property’s energy efficiency and provide easily comparable information for tenants.”