Rishi’s EPC U-turn slammed by RICS

Rishi’s EPC U-turn slammed by RICS

0:03 AM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago 10

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It’s taken nearly a week, but the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has hit out at Prime Minister Rishi Sunnak’s U-turn on energy performance certificate (EPC) requirements for rented homes.

It says that an alternative system needs to be put in place to tackle climate change – and that the methodology used needs to change to encourage landlords to deliver energy improvements.

In a statement, RICS says: “The dropped plans for the domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) in the private rental sector were not entirely surprising given the housing industry has been calling for several years for clarity on dates and additional support.

“The ongoing indecision about this and related matters does not fill the built environment sector with confidence.”

Alternative solution to improving energy efficiency

The organisation adds that it is looking forward to the government providing an alternative solution to improving energy efficiency to tackle climate change and economic and social well-being.

RICCS adds: “The government should also use this time to undertake a much-needed reform of the EPC methodology to ensure we accurately assess and incentivise energy performance improvements.

“RICS welcomes the announcement of additional support for the boiler upgrade scheme; however, we reiterate the importance of a holistic strategy that promotes energy efficiency and decarbonisation that is not limited to energy products.”

Other critics have highlighted that while the government has extended the boiler upgraded scheme, the criteria for those who can access cash has been tightened.

‘Powerful tool for achieving net zero targets’

The statement continues: “As part of this approach, the new second edition of Whole Life Carbon Assessment for the Built Environment (WLCA) will prove a powerful tool for achieving net zero targets in the built environment sector both in the UK and globally.”

As a way to measure carbon emissions in the built environment consistently and accurately, the RICS Whole Life Carbon Assessment (WLCA) could set the standard.

The second edition of this standard improves on the existing one by expanding its scope to include all types of buildings and infrastructure across their life cycle.

The standard was revised by RICS and a team of experts in decarbonisation, with the support of the Department for Transport UK and Zero Waste Scotland.

The 2nd edition maintains reliability and continuity, while promoting long-term solutions through reuse, recycling and redevelopment.

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9:34 AM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago

It is not fair that only landlords are forced to spend thousands of pounds on upgrading the EPC rating on their rental properties. If we have to do it, everyone should have to otherwise it is not about climate change it is another stick to beat landlords with...


10:00 AM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago

My logic would be:
EPC needs reforming first, then realistic targets can be set based on the year/era the property was built. (We need to accept that not all homes can all be the same rating). Improvement packages can then be tailored to cover the majority of homes, (i.e. you are not going to dig up an existing floor to fit insulation even though the current EPC would recommend it). This should then be funded from central government via local councils and ideally local trades to improve jobs and skills. This scheme should be rolled out to all homeowner regardless if the are landlords or owners over a long period of time maybe even 20years (or until all older homes have been upgraded) and we as a country should pay for everyone's home via general taxation.

I am told that Australia for example allow a government paid budget of ~$7,000 per house for energy improvements.


10:16 AM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago

Selective licensing - pay up
Selective S.24 - you horrible LL
Selective 3% - you are greedy
Selective EPC - only to PRS
Selective betrayal - hammer on entrepreneurship by Con. gov.

Mass (!) sell offs
All this has leads to;
Indirect rent rises for tenants.

Providing a service to house tenants at loss for many whilst worrying about the unfairness of the law is now better left to companies with deep pockets.

It hasn't gone unnoticed here in UK that any sort of success with hard work is faced with jealousy and and regulations.

Judith Wordsworth

12:04 PM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago

Is making properties hermetically sealed boxes good for climate change /people/buildings?

Personally I don't think it's good for any of them.

Does making properties hermetically sealed boxes actually do anything for climate change? I honestly don't think so.

Does making properties hermetically sealed boxes actually do anything beneficial for people? I don't think so.

Does making properties hermetically sealed boxes actually do anything beneficial for buildings? Definitely not.

northern landlord

13:02 PM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago

The RICS shouldn’t worry overmuch about existing housing stock. Presently EPC upgrades have long payback periods so people with sense don’t bother overmuch. If energy prices really go through the roof people will naturally upgrade without being forced to. When cars first came along there were no Government moves to ban horses, the new technology spoke for itself and eventually dominated. Forcing people is not the way forward. What RICS should be doing is lobbying for all new build properties to be super energy saving, and for new cheaper building techniques to be used as opposed to laboriously sticking bricks on top of each other as has been done for centuries.

Georgina Roy

15:18 PM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Blueskies at 27/09/2023 - 09:34
Why the heck should anybody be forced to take energy performance measures that they may not be able to afford or want. Regardless of them being owner occupiers or private landlords.

The social housing sector rent out some appallingly bad homes and get away with murder.

My dsughter was looking at buying her council house a couple of years ago and part of the process included an EPC assessment.
It was quite surprising that it was given a C assessment where every other property on the street was a D or E according to the certificates on the EPC register.

If owner occupiers don't or can't comply, will they have to vacate their homes and live on the streets as a penalty.

Ian Narbeth

16:36 PM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago

I thought getting EPCs to a C was to save tenants money. Very few people in the UK have or need air-conditioning. As global temperatures rise, the need for heating in winter is reduced. So having better insulated houses helps reduce consumption of fossil fuels but the effect on climate change may be marginal.

Clients of RICS members will be wealthy corporations and individuals who can pay for upgrades and can demolish and rebuild.

For many of the PRS with D or E properties the costs of upgrading are disproportionate - if you are making £2000 a year profit after mortgage and insurance costs, spending £10,000 futilely to try to bring an old house up to a C will hurt.

Georgina Roy

16:52 PM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 27/09/2023 - 16:36
Quite often the list of improvements on the EPC start with under floor insulation at an estimated cost up to 6 grand and the remedies have to be done in the order they're listed to lift the rating.

In most properties this is not only financially prohibitive, it would mean that the tenants would need to move out because the kitchen and bathroom wouldn't need to come out to get to the floor underneath. The cost would inevitably have to be passed on to tenants via increased rents which would dwarf any meagre energy saving costs.

I wish I'd been making 2 grand a year on the property I've just sold. I let it go for 16 grand less than I paid for it, to a company who are now trying to sell it for 20 grand more than I paid for it. I'm getting more return in interest on the money I got and none of the hassle of the tenant who wasn't paying his rent, who did me a massive favour by abandoning the property. I am now sleeping better than I have for years.


18:05 PM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago

We should focus more on renewable energies and controlling population growth.

We cannot continue allowing the population to expand. It’s quadrupled in a little over 100 years. It is not sustainable - despite capitalism depending on it.


22:43 PM, 27th September 2023, About 2 months ago

There is NO climate change, just a narrative that the popular, political and corporate society has nodded in sync to without scrutiny. The more we carry on with arguments about who should be doing what about "it" the more people think it is real. Rishi's act is probably a test to see how many of us have fallen for the gag and if it is enough of an outcry he will come back and give you exactly what you want which is to fraudulently extort you. There is plenty of expert kick back on this, it just doesn't see the light of day due to the investment (£££) into the narrative.

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