iHowz call on Government to release MEES requirements

iHowz call on Government to release MEES requirements

9:24 AM, 4th May 2022, About 2 months ago 25

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It is nearly 17 months since the Government’s consultation on improving the energy performance of privately rented homes closed.

On Friday, 29 April 2022, iHowz landlord association wrote to Kwasi Kwateng, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), to push for the publication of the findings of the EPC consultation together with the proposed changes to MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards).

 The letter is as follows:

Dear Minister,

Further to our letter of August 29th 2021, and your reply dated September 27th 2021 (both attached), we would still be pleased to know when it is proposed to publish the outcome of the consultation into a revised Minimum Efficiency Standards (MEES).

We also feel that the consultation into EPC’s must also be reported and before any new requirements for MEES are published.

Currently, EPC are driven by saving in cost, consequently, anyone installing a heat pump to replace an old gas boiler, as recommended by the Government, will probably see their EPC rating drop. This potentially could lead to properties not being able to be let under MEES rules.

This is clearly a contradiction, and one we feel urgently requires resolving.

Many landlords are unable/unwilling to carry out energy efficiency measures as they do not know:
– whether focus is on carbon or money savings
– when the current bias towards gas will switch towards electricity
– what the investment cap will be

The measures need to consider payback period and a formula should exist to take into account either the property value or expected rent for the area. Without this knowledge, they cannot order the works or raise the finance.

Also, without some funding support, many landlords are selling up and more will do so, exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis as displaced tenants will have less supply of rental homes.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Peter Littlewood
for iHowz Landlords Association.

This is the third letter to the Government sent by iHowz pushing for the release of the new required standards. It follows the original letter to Kwasi Kwateng on 29 August 2021, which produced a non-committal response from the BEIS on 27 September 2021,and our chaser to Alok Shama on 7 October 2021.

Landlords are right to expect the BEIS to publish the results of the EPC consultation and MEES requirements, so they can have the facts required to make the decisions and take appropriate action.

The government has allowed the press and the PRS to work on the assumption that a minimum EPC of C will be required for new tenancies from 2025 and for all tenancies from 2028, with an increased cost cap of £10,000 per property, but none of this has been confirmed.

Full details of the campaign are available here >>
https://ihowz.uk/the-anticipated-standards-for-the-minimum-energy-efficiency-standards-mees/



Comments

Luke P

14:18 PM, 4th May 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 04/05/2022 - 14:14
Do you have a link, please?

Seething Landlord

14:22 PM, 4th May 2022, About 2 months ago

DSR

15:01 PM, 4th May 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 04/05/2022 - 14:22
Very telling! Effect on LL's get more than a passing mention and its basically a dig at a policy /white paper plan of not having a bloody clue!

The Department’s forthcoming White Paper offers an opportunity for significant
improvement to the private rented sector. In the past ten years, the Department
has made several positive legislative changes in the private rented sector, such as
providing tenants with protection from eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic and
banning unnecessary charges through the Tenant Fees Act and deposit protection
schemes. However, these changes have been piecemeal, and the Department
does not have a good understanding of what impact they have had on renters, on
landlords or on wider issues such as the supply or affordability of rented homes.
The Department says that its focus over the past two years has been on responding
to the COIVD-19 pandemic, and it is now returning to its commitment to address
issues in the private rented sector with an upcoming White Paper. However, it is yet
to set out its ambition for the sector and does not yet have a strategy for the market
as a whole.
Recommendation: As part of its planned reforms, the Department should ensure
it has a full understanding of the cumulative impact of proposed changes on
tenants, landlords and the housing market as a whole. In doing this, it should
work closely with other departments, including formally where appropriate, to
understand how the reforms may affect or be affected by other policy areas such
as benefits and tax.

iHowz Landlord Association

15:10 PM, 4th May 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 04/05/2022 - 10:22
You will see in our letter that we are calling for joined up thinking, in that we want the mechanism for EPC's to be sorted out before MEES.

Additionally, we have published a separate report for DLUHS calling on the Ministry for ‘a ‘root and branch’ review of the current system, rather than the ‘tinkering at the edges’ of this highly regulated sector, poorly served by an overstretched, legal system.’

It can be seen here - https://ihowz.uk/levelling-up-the-private-rented-sector/

Seething Landlord

15:50 PM, 4th May 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by iHowz Landlord Association at 04/05/2022 - 15:10
I doubt that pushing them for an early response will achieve the result that we would all like to see, with a comprehensive overhaul of the EPC rating system as the starting point.

Rod

17:50 PM, 4th May 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gromit at 04/05/2022 - 10:01
Yes, no doubt the role of hydrogen in our low carbon energy solution has been a factor in slowing down the process, while they wait for the various solutions to reach commercial reality.

Gas boilers have been manufactured to be Hydrogen Ready (capable of burning a 20% hydrogen gas mix) since 1999. It is expected that a 20% hydrogen mix will be introduced from 2028

Many newer boilers are now certified 100% hydrogen, requiring a small fettle to enable them to burn 100% hydrogen. This is unlikely to take place until around 2040.

Why so long?
Well, hydrogen can be corrosive to pipework and is difficult to store. In addition, most current hydrogen production is called blue hydrogen, meaning it is created from natural gas, with carbon emissions.
Green hydrogen production is still in the early stages of large scale commercial production.

Enough hot air, I'm beginning to feel like a politician with all these promises of a greener future.

faye handfield

23:33 PM, 4th May 2022, About 2 months ago

I can not understand still why landlords are set to be penalised for providing accommodation which must be a small proportion of housing in the UK and yet they will most likely have to spend an astonishing amount to hit a C if that's even possible. There are millions and millions of privately owned houses that will never even feel the need for one single energy saving device. What is this game? Whip the landlord or cover the tenants in sympathy that they must have energy efficiency above the rest of the UK public. We are an easy target and it's wearing very thin. Raising to an E was where it needs to comfortably stay and dont forget, the government have conveniently exempt a number of properties associated with the vulnerable that are commonly provided by the council to dodge their own bullet. This levelling up needs a bit of help

Old Mrs Landlord

13:19 PM, 5th May 2022, About 2 months ago

Faye, it appears the government tactic to improve EPC levels in private owner-occupied properties is to put pressure on mortgage lenders to apply higher rates to less well-insulated premises, with differentials increasing over coming years. This will in effect eventually render such properties difficult to remortgage or sell and thereby devalue them unless owners spend to bring them up to higher EPC status. Currently this policy is being presented as a 'green' initiative by lenders giving preferential rates to low-carbon home owners, but the direction of travel comes from government.

Old Mrs Landlord

13:22 PM, 5th May 2022, About 2 months ago

Faye, it appears the government tactic to improve EPC levels in private owner-occupied properties is to put pressure on mortgage lenders to apply higher rates to less well-insulated premises, with differentials increasing over coming years. This will in effect eventually render such properties difficult to remortgage or sell and thereby devalue them unless owners spend to bring them up to higher EPC status. Currently this policy is being presented as a 'green' gesture by lenders giving preferential rates to low-carbon home owners, but the direction of travel comes from government.

Gromit

14:10 PM, 5th May 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 05/05/2022 - 13:19
The remortgage is going to hit Landlord as soon as the Government firms up its intentions. Lender will not want to lend on a property that cannot be let legally i.e. there's not rental income to cover the mortgage payments.

Lenders will want, at the very least, a written plan to upgrade a property to the required standard or have a confirmed exemption.

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