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Making the Grade

9th September 2013

Since October 2008, all properties on the market for sale or rent in England and Wales have required by law an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to indicate how green a building is.  This is just one indication of the efficiency of the building and a second Environment Impact rating that measures the property’s CO2 emissions.

So what’s going to change in 2018?  Until now, there has been no obligation for buildings to attain a minimal EPC rating.  But under the Green Deal (part of the Energy Bill 2011 which aims to promote energy efficiency in properties), from April 2018, it will be unlawful to let residential or commercial properties with an EPC rating of “F” and “G”.  Additionally, landlords will not be able to refuse reasonable requests from tenants to improve the energy efficiency of their property.

With recent data suggesting that at least 18% of UK commercial properties will need to make changes in order to comply with the new law, nearly a fifth of commercial buildings could become “unlettable” if action is not taken.  As such, property owners are being encouraged to act now to start reaping the rewards of renewables, rather than missing the deadline and being penalised by not being able to let their property.

This leads us to think that renewables are reaching a significant cross-road.  Until now, early movers have been encouraged by rewarding tariffs and significant incentives.  But the “carrot” is soon to be exchanged for a “stick” and individuals and businesses who fall short of requirements will not only miss out on early take-up incentives, but will be penalised for failing to reach the minimum standards.

However, many property owners have a limited understanding of renewables and how they can help improve a building’s EPC rating so TGE Group has teamed up with the Country Landowners Association (CLA) to organise an open evening at Reaseheath College.

The event is taking place on 2nd October at Reaseheath College, Nantwich, Cheshire from 10am till 2pm.  This free event is a great opportunity for people in the rural and business sector to gain an understanding of commercial solar PV, heat-pumps and biomass and how they can help improve the energy efficiency of their properties in anticipation of the 2018 deadline.

Those interested in attending should register by email at or call 0845 643 2528.