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 Landlords given five low-cost ways to improve a property’s EPC

Rightmove has identified five ways that landlords and other property owners can improve their property’s EPC rating - some for well under £100.

Current legislation in England and Wales requires buy to let properties to have at least an Energy Performance Certificate rating of E or above. 

However the government is emphasising its ‘Improving the energy performance of privately rented homes’ consultation exercise which, if implemented, will increase the EPC requirement to a C rating for all new tenancies by 2025 and for all existing tenancies by 2028.


The most common improvement that is recommended in EPCs is to install solar panels, although these will cost thousands of pounds. 

The second most common recommendation, mentioned in over five million EPCs, is to switch to use low energy lighting - this is one of the cheapest ways that can help improve energy efficiency, at a cost estimated by the portal to be just £38 on average. 

Other low cost recommendations from Rightmove include insulating the hot water cylinder (average cost £23), draught-proofing single glaze windows (£100), increasing lift insulation (£223) and upgrading heating controls (£400).

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister says: “It’s encouraging to see that there are some energy efficiency improvements that can cost less than £100, so it’s definitely worth checking your EPC if your home has one to see if there are small changes you could make to try and improve your rating. 

“The bigger challenge is for those homes with much lower ratings that will cost a substantial amount of money to improve. There are a number of homeowners who don’t feel an urgent need to make changes now unless it makes a big difference to the cost of their household bills or if it’s going to make their home more attractive to a potential buyer if they’re planning to sell. 

“It’s early days with some lenders now starting to introduce green mortgages as incentives, but homeowners need to be better informed that how green your home is will become increasingly important as we aim to move towards a net zero society, and they need more help to understand why making improvements are so important for the long term.”


His comments come after the portal looked at over 15m homes across England and Wales; currently 59 per cent of homes have a D, E, F or G rating and Rightmove believes there is the potential for this to be reduced to 11 per cent of homes if recommended improvements were made.

The study found that there are estimated to be a further 11m homes in England and Wales that do not yet have an Energy Performance Certificate rating, probably because they haven’t been sold or let out since the certificates were introduced.

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    That the most common recommendation is Solar Panels, costing thousands of pounds, shows why most LLs feel the whole system is ridiculous.

    The most common recommendation I have had recently is under floor insulation - costing thousands of pounds, disrupting tenants & requiring new flooring to be laid - all for a gain of £20 per year!

    Until the EPC is a fair reflection of a property and the recommendations sensible, LLs will just dump them on the market reducing voice & availability for tenants.


    We had an EPC done recently with similar recommendations, another suggestion was insulating the party wall. Some of the suggestions had a pay back period of 200 years. The EPC, I assume, does not take account of the carbon cost of the remedial work. What is the carbon saving of insulating a party wall in a two bed end of terrace compared with the carbon used to make the insulation, plasterboard and paint as well as transport for the workforce. Saving per year £25 for this lot.

  • John  Adams

    Until the Government comes up with a coherent Energy Grant strategy for all housing nothing is going to be achieved in terms of improvements and energy use. It is farcical that new build Property is still not required to have Solar panels and instead they are pushing Heat Pumps when the UK has so many older properties that already lack space due to the plethora of recycling bins and will become extremely expensive to heat using these systems.

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    It will be good if some these clowns start this project with social landlords housing. The public sector is renowned to find ways of spending other peoples money and that too quite inefficiently. So what is new??

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    My EPC gave my property an E - but to get it to a C I need to install cavity wall insulation. It's a single-skin brick wall property from the 1800s - how the h*ll do they expect me to put cavity wall insulation in that! I've looked into internal and external insulation cladding but the costs of that are far more than the house is worth!

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    Solar panels - only work if facing in certain directions so why are they trying to get everyone to install them when the costs far outweigh any potential benefits when they're facing the wrong way.

    Low energy lighting - I don't expect to pay for my tenants lightbulbs - that's up to them!

    Insulating the hot water cylinder - I don't have those, my properties (and most properties I know about) have combi-boilers so pointless adding this to my list of things to do.

    Most properties these days come with double or triple-glazing. Those with single glazing are usually that old that it's either a) cost prohibitive to change or b) not allowed (e.g. listed buildings)

    increasing lift insulation - flats don't have lofts and my other property can't access the loft as it runs through the whole street without being separated from neighbour's (think Ken Barlow falling through the ceiling moving from his own attic to the neighbour's attic).

    Upgrading heating controls would actually mean installing new heating systems - you can't add things like NEST heating systems to older ones.

    Overall - a pointless article for me, and presumably most, landlords as we're always looking to keep the properties we own up to a good and healthy living standard.

  • George Dawes

    EPC = Extremely Pointless Crap

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    I have tried numerous energy conservation measures on the 140 hmos that I own where I pay for the heating and none of the energy conservation measures such as energy efficient boilers double glazing external wall and roof insulation have made no difference to my heating costs

    The only thing they've got right about conservation is the first three letters it is a con!

    I have raised the issue numerous times yeah no one seems to want to question energy efficiency. It is going to turn out to be the biggest mis-selling scandal ever
    Jim haliburton HMO daddy

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    There is no energy saving in the main when the LL pays for energy used especially in HM0’s. I have seen it turned up to the last 24/7 whether needed or not and I was actually there when some came home, its hot in here isn’t & threw the windows open never turned thermostat down or boiler off, its like they want to waste when someone else pays the Bill. I know of some LL’s tried to control the use by installing hive and limit its use by mobile phone, that didn’t work uproar occupant has to have control.

  • George Dawes

    It's all part of the grand plan to make the west less competitive , look at china , nobody says a word about the outrageous levels of pollution from them , not a word , no gretha rants etc , nothing from al gore etc ..

    as for the change to electric boilers - ridiculous

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    I hope they are better than the electric cordless mowers worse than useless. I bought a Bosch 38v thinking it would be easier to transport from place to place and not needing to asking the Tenant for electric. It would kill a horse to push and grass needs to be already short, even though I bought the best one £500. + it soon goes flat. I could have bought 3 petrol mowers self- propelled 450mm cut from Toolstation instead & have £50. Change. I am now back to my old petrol lawnmower I hope Electric Cars are better.


    Electric cars aren't any better, I'm sticking with dirty diesel, I was brought up and trained on diesels so I'm sticking with what I know.

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    Regulation sometimes waste energy like forcing houses to have HMO licensees, not all I understand if all related & usually milking the system. However, I have seen many properties that could easily house 5 or 6 and normally would but because of HMO’s requirements they prefer to let to 4. What a waste of energy it still costs the same to heat the Property, so maybe EPC shouldn’t be based exclusively on the fabric of the Building but the amount of energy per person required.

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    Unfortunately the Gov has landlords over a barrel. The days of not upgrading houses are over. I regularly speak to other Energy Assessors to discuss this. If your EPC shows a recommendation of Cavity Wall insulation and there's no cavity wall construction on the property, then it needs to be corrected by the original Energy Assessor. The Accreditation Company like Elmhurst or Stroma would like to know these examples especially as they can target specific Assessors for poor quality work.
    The EPC is all we have at the minute, so we know its not the best, but instead of moaning about how bad it is, use it to your advantage. Also don't pay the cheapest cost for an EPC as you may not get good value for money. You're better off paying extra for a consultation fee after the EPC to help you get what Energy Rating you're aiming for.

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    Ok just keep paying, we always had the best properties before any of this and took pride in our properties even the envoy of home owners, now all that is gone property recked by putting the Tenants in charge. I have no confidence left in any of them.

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    Most of my properties stated on the EPC - cavity wall assumed, underfloor insulation assumed none. In fact when I checked there was no cavity wall insulation and all had underfloor insulation. So the EPC is completely flawed and based mainly on assumptions which were categorically incorrect!

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    Do I remember correctly that this was an EEC directive that the UK adopted? If so then since we are out of the EEC perhaps these are pointless in any event. Certainly the tenants have no interest in them they just get filed in the usual pile of letting bits and never get given a second glance.

  • George Dawes

    They seem to pick and choose criteria to fit their agenda


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