DECC warned over delay to energy efficiency rules for private landlords

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert April 4, 2014 09:03

The government is today facing fresh calls to set minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented homes in an effort to slash energy bills for tenants and reduce the carbon emissions from the nation's draughty homes.

The government had been expected to bring in new regulations by early 2014 at the latest, but a consultation on the plans has yet to be published.

Around four million of the UK's 22.8 million households are privately rented - the highest level since the early 1990s. However, private rentals are more likely to be inefficient, recording the lowest energy performance bands of F and G.

A coalition of more than 30 groups, led by the UK Green Building Council, have today issued a statementcalling for the standards to be expedited and include provisions to ensure all privately rented properties meet band E at the least.

Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Reynolds is also expected to raise this issue in Parliament today.

John Alker, director of policy and communications at the UK-GBC, warned that the lack of a minimum standard for private rentals was undermining the market for the Green Deal.

"A minimum energy efficiency standard is not only crucial for upgrading the UK's poorly performing privately rented homes, but would also give a much needed boost to the flagging Green Deal. Government is long overdue in setting out this standard, creating uncertainty for both landlords and tenants."

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said it was planning to consult on setting an energy efficiency standard in the private rented sector this spring.

"The Energy Act 2011 gives us the powers to do this and requires the Secretary of State to introduce the regulations for minimum standards by April 2018, and for a tenant to have the right to request improvements by April 2016," he told BusinessGreen. "We have been consulting stakeholders, including organisations supporting the release, on the detail of implementation."

Jonathan Reynolds pressed the Government to take action as soon as possible.

"Over four million people live in private rented accommodation with at least half a million living in cold, leaky homes," he said. "The Government committed in 2011 to improve the energy efficiency of these homes but so far, it's the usual case of all talk but no action.

"With over half of those living in cold leaky homes living in fuel poverty and with fuel bills continuing to rise, now is not the time for the Government to dither and roll back on this commitment, which is why I have asked for a cast iron guarantee that they will get this sorted."

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert April 4, 2014 09:03

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