Updated proposals for minimum Energy Performance Certificate standards in Scotland’s private rental sector

Updated proposals for minimum Energy Performance Certificate standards in Scotland’s private rental sector

The Scottish Government has announced updated proposals to introduce minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) standards across the private rental sector (PRS), with regulations now to be introduced from 2025.

The new proposals require all PRS properties to achieve a minimum EPC standard of C by change of tenancy in 2025. All remaining PRS properties will then be required to meet EPC C as a minimum standard by 2028. However, exemptions will be allowed where it can be demonstrated that reaching EPC C is not cost-effective or technically feasible. We are still waiting for details on these exemptions.

The updated plans are part of the Scottish Government’s recently-finalised Heating for Buildings strategy, and build on the existing programme Energy Efficient Scotland. These initiatives outline actions intended to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring that tenants can enjoy homes that are warmer and cheaper to heat.

The Scottish Government had previously committed to ensuring all PRS properties would reach an EPC D by 2025. The updated proposals replace this policy, pushing back the deadlines in recognition of the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The next step will see a consultation during 2022, across all tenures, considering the proposed minimum EPC C standard.

What action will At Home In Edinburgh be taking?

We support the government’s commitment to improving the energy efficiency of all domestic housing stock in Scotland. We will be working closely with all our landlords throughout the consultation period, and beyond, to ensure all properties comply with the new requirements.

While 2025 may seem a long way in the future, we need to act now. Our approach across our portfolio will be:

1. New properties

When we take on management of a new property, we will advise landlords on the changes required to meet a C rating. Where possible, we will action them before the start of a tenancy.

2. Tenancy changes

When a tenant serves notice, we will review the current EPC and identify what actions can be taken to improve the EPC rating during the tenancy changeover period.

3. Focus on lowest ratings

We will review the lowest EPC rated properties and agree an action plan with the landlord. These are the properties that are likely to need the biggest investment and landlords will need to budget accordingly.

We are pleased that the Scottish Association for Landlords (SAL) is a member of the government’s working group developing proposals for regulating energy efficiency in private sector housing. As SAL members we will continue to pass on feedback, ensuring that our landlords are represented throughout the process.

If you have any questions or concerns about the proposed minimum Energy Performance Certificate standards then please get in touch with us. Our friendly team is always happy to help!