Earlier this year, it was announced that landlords across Britain will be barred from letting out their properties unless they make them more energy efficient. This is part of plans to hit net-zero emissions from 2050.

The government has proposed legislation which will require all privately rented homes to be rated with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of C, the third-highest level of energy efficiency. Those who let out homes that do not meet the target will face large fines. The rule will apply to all new lettings from 2026 and all existing lettings from 2028.

How can we improve the EPC rating of our buildings?

Retrofitting is one of the best ways to improve the EPC rating of old buildings. We collaborated on a retrofit pilot scheme with Project Ziro and Syntec Projects, two London based companies that are committed to creating greener homes for the future. The aim was to turn a two-bedroom 1950s ground floor flat in Acton from an EPC of D to an impressive B.

Air tightness of the building was improved by installing tapes and membranes to leaky points within the building, including windows, doors, ceilings and floors. We then installed a Nilan Compact unit, which used heat-pump and MHVR technology to provide the home with energy-efficient heating, cooling, hot water and ventilation.

Better insulation, low-carbon heating and clean power sources were all vital steps to help improve the energy-efficiency of this home. It will now save an estimated 1.28t of carbon a year — a huge saving over the extended life of the property.

So, what’s it like living in a retrofitted home?

We spoke to the tenants to find out.

“We find it really easy living in the retrofitted property. Operating the Nilan unit is straight-forward – we can switch the system to heating or cooling with just a few clicks. With the UK’s temperamental weather, it’s great that the house is always the right temperature for us. There are simple how-to guides online and we know there’s engineers on hand if we have any questions.

Another benefit we’ve noticed is a reduction in our energy bills as we no longer rely on a gas boiler.

Most importantly, it’s nice to know we’re doing our bit for the environment. Our house is a lot more eco-friendly, without us having to do much at all!”

To learn more about how you can create energy-efficient homes, contact us.