Improving an EPC rating

Been letting out a compact 1 bed flat for several years.
EPC is a D. Heating is by way of a big efficient Gas fire, and electric wall heaters.

I have always been planning to install gas central heating but over the years when I ask tenants their views they always say they love the gas fire as it heats the whole flat so well, tending not to use the electric rads at all.

With EPC C being a requirement by what has now been pushed back to 2030, it’s something many landlord will be faced with addressing. [edit - no date for new requirements released yet]

Given the fact government wants to discourage gas boilers, and that existing heating is actually preferred by all, going this route seems ridiculous. There must be a better way to gain jump to a C. Air source pumps out of the question, as is solar.

The EPC says “install a condensing boiler”, and increase lost insulation (marginal gain). I am thinking more energy efficient electric heaters. Its already cavity insulated and DG.

Anyone aware of an EPC tool Joe Public can use which lets them play around with different criteria?

Have I missed an announcement? I thought Govt had scrapped the EPC C target for rented properties and who knows what labour will do. I also read that fundamental changes to EPCs are ‘on the horizon’. I read this as being in part better scores for electric heating, which after all is the most efficient and potentially cleanest form of heating. I think its too early to make changes and a risk of going the wrong way.


There is no such thing as a more efficient electric heater, for the same reason that LED lights are no more efficient than LEDs during the winter when you need the heating on.
“Inefficiency” in terms of electrical appliances means the production of heat, generally meaning unwanted heat as a by product. But in the winter that heat is not wasted, it’s warming up your house ! Whether the EPC inspectors take that into account is unlikely however…

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I have a similar issue NOW.
I have two flats I can rent out but neither has gas heating in and I do not want to put it in either. Quite apart from the cost (two boilers, one each, for two two room flats ! ) there’s all the requirement for yearly “gas safety checks”.
Since the building was put up in the early 1900s it also has no cavity wall either (and thus no cavity wall insulation), so the flats would be marked down for that as well. Therefore I suspect they would not reach the required grade to legally rent them out which is totally illogical. Apart from the fact there is supposed to be a big shortage of rented property, I thought the government wanted to phase out gas boilers !

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Solar panels increase the EPC rating ?

The goal posts change when it comes to EPC ratings. Having been through this with our commercial portfolio the best advice I was given and now pass on is get an EPC rating consultancy survey done. That way you know where to spend your money and where it would be of no use. As it’s not an EPC survey only a consultancy survey it won’t affect your current rating. This saved me money and also created a working relationship for future advice. Hope this helps


Yes, but they arnt an option here

I think I’ll end up waiting until gov know themselves what they actually require. Whatever I do now could be wrong and not actually necessary so would be guesswork all round.

We live in a flat with electric heaters and electric immersion with standard tariff. It has EPC rating B. Both heaters and immersion are marked as “very poor”. Everything else is “very good”. We never had the temperature to fall below 16 degrees with heaters off. The boiler temperature is the only major factor of our electric bills. It’s from 150 to 200kWh per month which is less than the flat we lived before which had central gas-fueled heating which would have been probably marked as good.

So EPC rating is not about individual components. It’s about the system as a whole. The electric heaters allow you to make the building air tight which would have the greatest impact on the real heating efficiency, in terms of heat loss and money spent on both maintenance and bills.

As for EPC rating, I think the reclassification of electric heating/hot water is inevitable. If they care about fossil fuels, it’s more efficient to change it at the plant. I think the main issue with it is the grid as it might overload.

Totally agree.

I was just talking with an experienced EPC assessor who said that ground source heat pumps can actually act negatively on the rating, so as you say reclassification of electric heat sources is inevitable.

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Solar increase EPC by about 10 - pts!

I have a 1 bed cluster with no gas. EPC was D with nothing sensible left to do. I installed a High Heat Retention Storage heater & it is now a C. Cost me about £1200 in total. Probably doesn’t make the place nicer to live in or cheaper to heat but I know I can rent it indefinitely.

Current Govt has scrapped EPC targets for rentals, but Labour may re-instate. My advice - do nothing yet & then install a HHRSH if you need to.

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Is that a lot or not ?

They certainly do if it’s not them having to pay the cost / hassle / inconvenience of it !

I think it’s very worrying what Labour could do when they get in office, just remember much of the excessive regulatory burden on landlords (don’t even get me onto the most disproportionate and unnecessary regulation of them all : 5 yearly electrical “safety” reports…) was bought in under the supposedly business friendly Tories…

Somewhat surprisingly my top flat passed its EPC, though I suspect the relief will be short lived as they’ll almost certainly move the goalposts in the next few years…

Yes - it’s a lot! Especially compared to other changes you might make.

In that case, if Labour do move the goal posts, as I fully expect them to, it looks like it’ll be solar panels, which will be cost neutral for me as I have already got agreement with my tenants that the rent would go up to cover the cost of them and the savings on elec.
As an aside, and this is a question I have asked many times (but never had an answer…) all these people saying landlords should have to insulate their properties and save their tenants money, do they also agree the landlord should be able to put up the rent to cover it ? As I said, they never answer that one.

I had an EPC done and one of the recommended improvements was a wind turbine in the garden, I’m sure the neighbours would love that one, Property is on a modern housing housing estate!

Seriously ? ! ?
What were the predicted costs and return on that ? And how accurately could they predict it…

Cost was estimated between £1500 and £4000, which is a massive ballpark and of absolutely no use , savings were £20.70 PER YEAR !!
EPC was carried out 9 years ago. What an absolute ridiculous waste of money.