Seventy five per cent of rented properties don’t have an EPC

An interesting report from campaign group 10:10 shows that the UK Government has admitted millions of landlords are breaching the law by failing to display the energy performance of their properties.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), displaying an efficiency rating of A to G, is required whenever a building is sold, constructed or rented, and, since January, must be displayed on adverts for property.

Yet government data has revealed just 26 per cent of privately rented homes in England and Wales have complied with the law.

The most recent English Housing Survey shows there are 3.84 million private home rentals in England alone, and, with demand rising and turnover rates at around 20 months, it seems millions will fall foul of the rules without a huge improvement in the take up of EPCs.

By contrast, the figures show compliance rates are at 95 per cent for domestic sales and 75 per cent for social housing rentals. However, the non-domestic sector, which covers offices, shops and other business properties, is also performing poorly, with just under half of sales and only 39 per cent of rentals complying with the EPC regulations.

The estimates could be worse than they appear as around 30 per cent of properties listed for sale are never sold, so simply matching up sales volumes with EPCs is likely to produce an inaccurate figure.

EPCs form part of a suite of measures, including the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), designed to raise the energy efficiency of the UK's housing stock, which accounts for almost 40 per cent of the country's energy consumption and carbon emissions.

The certificates themselves are intended to help property owners identify the energy performance of their buildings and take steps to act on it, as well as ensure prospective buyers and tenants can make informed choices and save money by choosing more energy-efficient buildings.

The private rented sector contains some of the most inefficient of the UK's housing stock and around 27 per cent of households in the sector are estimated to be in fuel poverty. Studies by Consumer Focus also show that where people have information on energy performance from EPCs, they take action to improve efficiency around 15 per cent of the time, which could have a huge cumulative effect on the UK's carbon emissions and energy consumption.

Dave Timms, acting executive director of campaign group 10:10, said EPCs should be playing a central role in the UK's efforts to tackle fuel poverty and greenhouse gas emissions. "Fuel poverty rates in the rented sector are high so tenants really need to see information that will allow them to choose a warmer or cheaper to heat home. Consumers can't make informed choices if they don't have information."

He added that the low levels of compliance and paltry penalties for breaching the rules – which currently stand at a £200 fine – suggest the Department for Communities and Local Government "doesn't take energy efficiency remotely seriously". While Trading Standards is responsible for enforcing the regulations, council budgets have limited its effectiveness beyond criminal matters and there is no requirement from DCLG to make EPCs a priority, said Timms.

"The department seems to be dragging its feet on this as much as possible and has indicated it will do nothing more than the minimum required by European regulations," he argued.

"There's nothing [in the FOI papers] showing that it is even keeping updates or monitoring EPCs. Giving consumers choices and helping them save money should be a priority for government and all departments should be supportive of this."


Compliance365 is an independent energy consultancy. We provide advice and guidance on all our services; how to save energy; how to save money on your energy bills; and ultimately how to become more energy efficient. Our aim is to be as cost effective and flexible as possible for our clients.

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