Committee Reaffirms Recommendations for Tougher Energy Efficiency Measures
In its latest annual report, published 17th October, the Committee on Fuel Poverty reaffirmed its previous recommendations to the Government to take tougher action on energy inefficiency in the private rented sector (PRS).
The Committee, an advisory non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, advises on the effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing fuel poverty. Their role is to:
- monitor and report on progress of the Government’s Fuel Poverty Strategy
- support and challenge the Government on delivery
- encourage and foster a partnership approach between Government and stakeholders
- work where appropriate with the Committee on Climate Change.
Recommendations made by the Committee in its annual report include:
- Ensuring that the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property England and Wales) Regulations 2015 will be effective by requiring landlords to fund energy efficiency improvements up to a cost cap of £5,000 for each property.
- Ensuring that adequate enforcement of landlords’ obligations takes place by introducing a national landlord licensing scheme and that local authorities have adequate resources to monitor and take enforcement action.
- Incentivising landlords to invest by reintroducing the Landlord’s Energy Savings Allowance – a former tax allowance on energy saving expenditure by landlords (which the NLA have been calling for too).
- Placing an obligation on landlords of rented properties (private, local authority and housing associations) to upgrade the energy efficiency levels of their properties in line with the 2025 milestone (EPC Band D) and 2030 fuel poverty target.
- Reviewing the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) guideline scores for the health and safety impact of cold homes on children and pensioners are in light of the latest studies on health effects from cold homes.
From 1st April 2018, new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will prohibit landlords from granting new tenancies (or renewing/extending existing tenancies) for properties with an EPC rating of F or G. The Government recently published guidance for landlords, which can be read here.
The Committee’s report comes a week after the Government published its Clean Growth Strategy (read about it all here), which set out an ambitious target to bring all private rented sector properties up to an EPC rating of C by 2030 “where practical, cost-effective and affordable.”
The Strategy also suggests an imminent changing of the regulations underpinning the minimum energy efficiency standards, with the Government stating they “will consult shortly on steps to make these regulations more effective.”
In line with the Committee’s report, landlords will likely soon be expected to pay up to £5,000 towards the energy efficiency improvements of F & G rated properties.