Government initiates consultation to enhance energy efficiency in social housing

Government initiates consultation to enhance energy efficiency in social housing

0:01 AM, 6th October 2023, About 9 months ago

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A consultation on energy efficiency standards in the social housing sector will take place next year, according to new reports.

In its Energy White Paper in 2020, the government committed to a review of the Decent Homes Standard to consider how it could better support the decarbonisation and energy performance of social housing.

The government’s target for social housing is for as many homes as possible to be upgraded to reach EPC C by 2035, and there is a 2030 target for ‘fuel-poor households’.

Safe, decent and warm homes

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) told Social Housing magazine that the government remain committed to improving energy efficiency standards.

A DLUHC spokesperson said: “We want to ensure that social housing tenants have safe, decent and warm homes.

“We remain committed to improving the quality of social housing and making it more energy efficient, and we will be consulting on implementing minimum energy efficiency standards for the social rented sector.”

Funding to meet net zero targets

Campaigners have criticised the government for scrapping energy efficiency targets for the private rented sector. According to reports, these changes do not apply to the social housing sector.

The 2019 Conservative manifesto committed to a £3.8bn Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) over a 10-year period to 2030 to improve the energy performance of social rented homes in England.

Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation recently wrote to the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt urging the government that housing associations need funding to deliver their role in meeting net-zero targets.

She said: “Housing associations are committed to the vital work of retrofitting their homes, not only to help the country meet its net zero targets, but also to provide energy efficient and comfortable homes for their residents that are affordable to heat.

“Many housing associations are already working towards EPC C by 2030, with 69.8% of housing association homes at EPC A – C. A clear regulatory roadmap for energy efficiency standards would help further this work.

“We would also like to see a long-term commitment to decarbonising our housing stock, by securing the full remaining social housing decarbonisation fund (SHDF) beyond 2025 from the £6bn allocated in the November 2022 Autumn Statement.”

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