News | Published on 13th Mar 2018

Landlords need to do more to improve the energy efficiency of their properties

‘Greater ambition is needed to tackle fuel poverty that is endemic in the Private Rented Sector. Landlords must do more to ensure the houses they let are energy efficient,’ says Stewart Clements, Director of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council, HHIC, as they respond to “The Domestic Private Rented Sector minimum level of energy efficiency consultation.”

Following November’s Clean Growth Strategy, the Government recently announced proposals to amend 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations and remove the no cost to landlord principle. The proposal outlined in the consultation introduces a landlord contribution element where funding is unavailable to ensure improvements to Band F and G properties can be delivered (unless a valid exemption applies) with a suggested cost cap of £2500.

Whilst HHIC welcome this proposal, they are calling for the cap to be increased to £5000. The Government’s plan to cap spending at £2500 will only help 30% of houses (85,000) reach EPC band E, whereas a cap of £5000 would lift a substantially higher number (in excess of 120,000) to this banding.

Stewart Clements, Director of the HHIC, said:

“A cap that allows for first-time central heating systems to be fitted is necessary because it is the best way to improve the EPC of a property.

We urge the government to recognise that insulation alone will not keep a home warm, you need an efficient heating system too. And gas central heating is the most obvious solution for most. .

Increased energy efficiency not only helps reduce carbon emissions, it also helps people heat their homes in a more effective manner, reducing the risk of living in miserably, cold, inefficient homes. Landlords must begin to play a role in ensuring the houses they let are energy efficient, and we encourage the government to be more ambitious in their plans for the Private Rented Sector.”

You can read the HHIC’s full response to the consultation on “The Domestic Private Rented Sector minimum level of energy efficiency consultation” here.

Levels of fuel poverty are highest in the private rental sector, where one in five (20%) households struggle with their bills. There are approximately four million UK households in Fuel Poverty and an estimated 20% of those living in the PRS being in fuel poverty (rising to 42% in households living in F and G rated properties.)