Is Your Flat a Power-Guzzler? Unveiling the Secrets of Energy Efficiency

Is Your Flat a Power-Guzzler? Unveiling the Secrets of Energy Efficiency

In the realm of housing, where electricity and gas prices are on a rollercoaster ride, the spotlight is now firmly fixed on energy efficiency. When was the last time you pondered over the hidden energy habits of your flat? If you’ve never laid eyes on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your abode, or it’s been a decade since you moved, it’s time to dive into the energy efficiency conversation.

EPCs, those elusive Energy Performance Certificates, are the unsung heroes that unveil the dance between cost and savings on your utility bills. However, if the last time you saw an EPC was back in the day, its advice might be as outdated as your favourite childhood cartoon. In the wake of skyrocketing bills, it’s high time to reconsider. Luckily, the government website lets you peek at not only your flat’s EPC but also those of your neighbours.

Now, let’s talk about the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) for rental properties. Brace yourselves, because from April 1, 2025, new tenancies must meet the demanding Band C EPC rating, while existing tenancies get a grace period until April 1, 2028. Anything below Band C is a legal no-no for letting. Deacon, the insurance maestro, chimes in, reminding us that upgrading your flat isn’t just a dance with the law; it’s a savvy move to dodge potential claims on your block of flats insurance. Imagine this: an upgraded boiler is like a superhero, less likely to break down and unleash a water catastrophe.

While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about the security blanket for your energy-efficient venture: insurance. As you embark on upgrading your flat’s energy efficiency, consider this an opportunity to fortify your insurance defences. A well-insulated home, backed by sturdy improvements, not only reduces the risk of potential claims but also earns you a thumbs-up from insurers. Picture it as an insurance discount – a tangible reward for transforming your flat into an energy-savvy fortress, safeguarding not just your wallet but also your peace of mind. With providers like Deacon to help you out, you’re assured to sleep soundly at night with comprehensive insurance to protect your property. 

So, what’s on your EPC certificate’s to-do list? From window upgrades to draughtproofing and a shiny new boiler, the responsibilities are spelled out. But here’s the energy efficiency gospel: it’s all about the fabric, baby. Energy assessors champion a ‘fabric first’ ethos, meaning you should snuggle your building in insulation, fortify the windows and doors, and then think about the glitzy new heating systems. Each step builds on the other, like a perfectly choreographed dance routine. Insulate first, and your boiler won’t have to work as hard – a win for your energy bills and the environment.

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: building insulation. It’s the rockstar of every EPC list, and it usually calls for a grand whole-block project. Cash flow for such endeavours might tap into the service charge budget, triggering consultation procedures mandated by law for major works in block of flats. Every leaseholder’s voice matters before the project takes flight. But brace yourself – owner-occupiers might not be as gung-ho as their subletting counterparts, and without a reserve fund, rallying the troops could be a tough gig

So, what’s the roadmap for energy efficiency bliss? Building managers, buckle up. The key is to envision the building as a collective powerhouse and brainstorm the most effective improvements. Armed with fresh data on costs and potential savings, initiate an open dialogue with leaseholders. If you’re both the owner and the landlord of a flat, worry not – reach out to the freeholder and the almighty management company directors. Dive into the depths of your lease, calculate the probable costs, and gauge the pulse of your fellow leaseholders. It’s a communal journey toward an energy-efficient haven – one flat at a time.