I’ve yet to meet a prospective tenant, let alone an actual tenant, that either knows what an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is, or has any interest in one when it’s handed to them.
They’ve been a legal requirement for landlords in England and Wales since October 2008, yet they appear to be as much of a mystery as they’ve ever been.
An EPC is primarily meant to benefit tenants because it gives them some indication of how energy efficient a property is, which can ultimately effect the cost of certain utility bills. However, if tenants are 1) unaware they exist 2) uninterested when they’re made aware they exist 3) confused by the technicolor document they’re looking at it, then the question has to be asked, who’s actually benefiting here?
So far I’ve been looked at gormlessly by tenants each time I’ve handed over an EPC during a viewing. I almost feel embarrassed doing it because I can always anticipate the tenant’s response (it’s the same one I’m always given):
WAIT! Before all you hippies and eco-warriors start filling up your flasks with herbal green tea and pitch camp outside my garden for a full-on protest, let me clarify something. I like the idea of an EPC. Sure, if ‘PROPERTY A’ will cost X amount more to keep warm than ‘PROPERTY B’ because it’s less energy efficient, i’d like to know. I’m all for energy efficiency and reducing costs. Bring it on!
However, when you’re employing someone to measure the energy efficiency of a property and documenting the results using multi-coloured graphs on high quality printing paper for an audience that doesn’t have a bloody clue, you need to ask yourself, who’s really raping mother-nature here?
My problem is that the Government introduced a law which the main beneficiaries are, in general, completely oblivious to. What’s the bloody point? Riddle me that, Batman.
The way I see it is, EPCs are a good idea in principle, but a good idea without understanding or acknowledgement is pointless.
What’s the solution? No idea, because I don’t know what the actual problem is. I’m not sure if tenants are generally unaware of the EPCs and consequently require educating, or because tenants, by and large, don’t consider energy efficiency at the top of the priority list when looking for rental accommodation. Either way, tenants don’t seem to be paying much attention, yet we’re still paying for the bloody things. Granted, EPC’s cost about £55 and they last for 10 years so they’re hardly going to break the bank, but it’s the principle, innit.
Just to reiterate, landlords are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) per property. Follow the link for more details on when, why, how and where you can purchase them from.
I’m curious to know, as a landlord, do you even bother showing the EPC? How do tenants react to them- are they even familiar with them? Have you ever had a tenant request to see one?
I’m also curious about this situation from the tenants perspective. Do you ask to see them? Have landlords/agents shown you them in the past? Do you even care about them?
Grab the mic and say your piece below. Peace! x