It appears that the government is considering a replacement for the ill-fated Green Homes Grant, which was to have helped thousands of landlords improve their properties.
The government announced in March that the £1.5 billion Green Homes Grant programme - which was for landlords and owner occupiers - would end with almost no notice.
After launching last September, by the end of February there were over 123,000 applications for the grants but just 28,000 vouchers had been issued and only 5,800 energy-efficient installations made - the scheme was then axed almost overnight because of delivery reasons, with too few skilled fitters.
Now however - and with environmental improvements to domestic properties seen as increasingly vital to combat climate change - it appears the government may be about to have a further rethink.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has told the BBC that he is speaking with Chancellor Rishi Sunak to bring back an “equivalent” plan.
In the same interview he suggested that the price of heat pumps - seen as a long term replacement for carbon-heavy gas boilers - could be halved.
Kwarteng told the Today programme that energy supplier Octopus suggested the price of heat pumps could “very quickly” come down to as low as £5,000 - at the moment they are typically ranging from £10,000 to £35,000.
The original Green Homes Grant scheme collapsed in chaos early this year with a shortage of accredited engineers registered with TrustMark, the government-endorsed quality scheme for installers, highlighted as a reason landlords and owners were unable to make the upgrades the initiative should have enabled.
Within the Green Homes Grant, landlords and owners are eligible to receive vouchers towards heat pump installation.
Analysis by the National Residential Landlords Association shows that only five per cent of private rented households have received government help to fund energy efficiency measures despite having the greatest need.
Although more of those classed as fuel poor live in the sector, private rented households received only half of the help given to those in the social sector.
According to the English Housing Survey, a third of private rented sector housing was built before 1919. This is the hardest to treat and accounts for a larger proportion of the sector than for any other housing tenure. Across England’s entire housing stock, 84 per cent of properties built before 1919 had an energy rating or D or worse.
With 62 per cent of private rented homes having an energy rating of D or below this will largely account for why 37 per cent of all households classed as fuel poor are in the private rented sector compared to 23 per cent in the social sector.
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