Landlords warn that energy efficiency plans are ‘dead in the water’

Landlords warn that energy efficiency plans are ‘dead in the water’

0:03 AM, 10th January 2023, About 3 months ago 55

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Landlords are warning that plans to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the private rented sector (PRS) are ‘dead in the water’ because the Government has failed to respond to a consultation on the issue which closed two years ago.

Originally, a target for all new tenancies in the PRS to have an energy performance rating (EPC) of at least a ‘C’ by 2025 was made by the Government.

It was then proposed that the EPC target be extended to cover all tenancies by 2028.

However, the consultation on the issue closed in January 2021 – with the Government not providing any response to it which has led to uncertainty within the PRS about what is expected.

Dates for improving energy efficiencies

Now the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is calling on the Government to make clear that the dates for improving energy efficiencies are now ‘unrealistic’.

The organisation is also urging certainty for the market and wants a definitive timetable for the publication of a consultation response – and any proposed legislation.

Among the Government’s proposals was for all landlords to pay up to £10,000 to carry out the necessary improvements to meet the proposed EPC targets.

‘Want to see properties as energy efficient as possible’

The NRLA’s chief executive, Ben Beadle, said: “We all want to see properties as energy efficient as possible.

“However, the Government’s delay in responding to its consultation on energy standards in the private rented sector means its plans are dead in the water.

“The lack of clarity is playing a major part in holding back investment in the homes to rent tenants desperately need.”

He added: “In the interests of certainty, the Government needs to admit what we all know, namely that it has no hope of meeting its proposed energy targets for the rental market.”

Calling for any proposed cap to be linked to the average market rent

The NRLA is calling for any proposed cap on what landlords will pay to be linked to the average market rent for the area in which the rental property stands.

This move would, the NRLA says, see a landlord’s bill being tapered from £5,000 to £10,000 if rental and property values were considered.

Also, NRLA wants a package of financial measures to support a landlord’s investment, and this would include a new tax allowance for landlords who carry out remedial work towards meeting the Government’s Net Zero target.

‘Misguided assumption that landlords have unlimited sums of money’

Mr Beadle said: “The plans, as they currently stand, rely on a misguided assumption that landlords have unlimited sums of money.

“The proposals fail to accept the realities of different property and rental values across the country, and that the private rented sector contains some of the most difficult to retrofit homes.

“Ministers need a smarter approach with a proper financial package if we want to ensure improvements to the rental housing stock.”

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18:35 PM, 24th January 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 24/01/2023 - 17:49
Simple maths.

1/5 = 20%
Adjust 16% (of all emissions) to 20% to allow for pre 1918 and 1960 properties having a high weighting in PRS stock
20% x 20% = 4% of total UK emissions

Today saw record net borrowing for December, of which almost £1.9bn was to cover the energy support scheme.
Had the government published the new EPC/MEES requirements last summer and provided financial support for landlords to carry out EPC works, PRS landlords could have boosted GDP by carrying out the efficiency works. In doing so, these more efficient properties would be more energy efficient, requiring less energy subsidy both for the original 6 month period and the 9 month extension for those deemed vulnerable.

These capital improvements have been shown to increase the value of homes, rather than SDLT holidays, which simply inflate the.

Freda Blogs

19:15 PM, 24th January 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Rod at 24/01/2023 - 18:35
I figured out the maths thanks, but where is the data that the PRS has 'the highest proportion of old, leaky properties' ?


11:29 AM, 25th January 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 24/01/2023 - 17:49
English Housing Survey 2021-22

The energy efficiency of the English housing stock continues to improve, with significant increases in mean SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) ratings seen over the past 25 years. Mean scores varied across tenures, with the social rented sector having the highest average SAP rating.

In 2021, the average SAP rating of an English dwelling was 66 points, up from 45 points in 1996.
In 2021, the social sector had the highest mean SAP rating with mean scores of both housing associations and local authorities at 70. Owner occupied dwellings averaged a rating of 66 and private rented dwellings scored the lowest at 65.

EPC consultation document Improving the Energy Performance of Privately Rented Homes in England and Wales, 8 January 2021

"Executive Summary
Our homes are a key part of our national heritage. They have shaped and defined us as a society. They reflect our culture and environment, and change over time with new tastes and technologies, and to meet new priorities. The UK housing stock is generally older than in the rest of Europe, and the potential for improvement in the energy performance of our homes is considerable. This is perhaps most significant in the private rented sector, which represents 20% of our housing stock, and has the highest concentration of fuel poor tenants (17.7%).1 Improving the energy performance of these homes is a vital part of our wider strategy to decarbonise buildings cost-effectively, in light of the significant challenges posed by climate change."


13:45 PM, 26th January 2023, About 2 months ago

Did anybody hear the short piece on Radio 4 the other regarding a new study on domestic residential energy saving upgrades and the efficacy of them?
Basically they found that homes that had spent a lot on upgrades, for example loft insulation etc did not in fact reduce their energy consumption. Such households were generally affluent and used to a comfortable temperature and did not seek to reduce their thermostats by very much. Also there was an attitude that they had 'done their bit' and didn't need to make more savings by changing their attitude to energy useage.
This makes a mockery of the EPC thing (which is completely unfit for purpose anyway, as seen by many of the above posts.)

Sue Em

13:03 PM, 28th January 2023, About 2 months ago

EPC seems a mockery when owners of Listed Buildings are legally prevented from making energy saving measures on their properties yet landlords of non listed have to jump through expensive hoops. Either we have 'a climate emergency' or we dont. If a system/policy is not logical or fit for purpose it should be scrapped. Alternatively in 2023 all 'homes' should be blanket allowed double glazing because would any of the younger generation thank us for conserving a cold expensive draughty building for their pleasure? Where is the tick box that covers thatch and 3 ft stone walls?

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