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Landlords lead on energy-efficiency despite Sunak U-turn

Large upfront costs are deterring landlords and other home owners from making their homes more energy efficient, according to Lloyds Bank - but the same survey finds landlords are ahead of the curve.

In the UK, homes are one of the highest carbon-emitting sectors, with the 28m residential properties accounting for 16 per cent of the UK’s total carbon missions. 

The Lloyds survey reveals that while nearly six in 10 homeowners think it’s important to make their property ‘net zero ready’ by 2035, over two-thirds have not taken any action to make improvements in the last five years.              


Ahead of COP28 - the latest global summit on climate change, taking place next week - the survey reveals shortcomings across the sector and the challenges many homeowners face to make their homes net zero ready by 2035.

Just one in five owners claim to be able to pay for the steps needed to ensure their home is ‘net zero ready’ by 2035. Some 49 per cent are put off by prohibitive high initial costs and believe that there is a lack of financial support available. Other barriers for change include not knowing where to start or the inconvenience and hassle of building work.

However, Lloyds say owners who have been able to invest in their property are already seeing the benefits. Some 96 per cent of landlords and owners who have made changes to make their homes more eco-friendly are pleased with the results and are strong advocates for others to invest. Three quarters who have undertaken retrofit work said their installation had performed at least as well as expected, with half stating the upgrades have performed even better than expected.

No fewer that 81 per cent of those carrying out energy efficiency work would recommend retrofitting to friends or family, claiming the main benefits are their homes are now warmer and cheaper to run.

Despite these findings, the report reveals that there is still a reluctance by many to make changes. One in four UK homeowners never expect to move away from oil or gas fired heating in their lifetime, and nearly half do not know the EPC rating of their property.  

However, the positive news is that landlords demonstrate a much greater awareness of the ways to improve the energy efficiency of their rental properties.

The report highlights that government legislation has meant that over eight in ten landlords have either considered or have taken action to improve energy efficiency of their properties in the last five years, including installing battery storage, solar panels or heat pumps. This is compared with just over a quarter of homeowners.

However, recent policy changes risk a halt in the progress landlords have made.

Following the government’s recent decision to stop plans requiring all rental properties to meet a minimum EPC rating of C by 2028, nearly over four in 10 landlords have now cancelled plans to invest in energy efficiency measures. Now over half of UK landlords say they are less likely to invest in energy efficient changes in the future. 

Rebecca Heaton, director of environmental sustainability at Lloyds Banking Group, says: “As the UK’s largest mortgage lender, we are concerned by the inadequate progress in decarbonising the UK’s 28 million homes. The UK has the oldest and draughtiest housing stock in Europe and progress is off track. The lack of progress in decarbonising our homes risks pushing critical net zero goals – and keeping global warming within the 1.5⁰C threshold – further out of reach.

“Our report shows that UK homeowners are clearly experiencing benefits of retrofitting, like warmer homes and cheaper running costs, but they’re in urgent need of more support. We are committed to finding a solution by working closely with the government, housebuilders and developers to provide UK households with more certainty and better tools and incentives to unlock the scale of retrofit at the pace we need.” 

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    6 in 10 homeowners would probably like to make their homes more energy efficient, but they can't afford to do it.

    My sister and niece live in EPC E properties and don't have the money to invest in upgrades, I've pestered them for years and they will not let me pay for basic upgrades.

    I've been upgrading my rentals with realistic upgrades since I bought them, long before the government were smoking pot and decided that all rental houses must be a C.

    All are Either a D or a C, but I will not spend 2 - 3 years rental income per house to make them a C, I'll just sell the ones that will cost too much.

    Some tenants already know that I want to sell because the house can not realistically make it to a C, If the government brings this back I will sell the houses.

    I've already offered to let them buy the houses, but unfortunately even the good ones are not in a position to buy with current interest rates.

    The government need to fund this NET ZERO bull that they want to achieve.

    They have already screwed everyone else of their last penny. Its time for them to pay for what they want the rest of the population to do. The rest of us don't get paid a politicians salary. We never see them going on strike as their pay wasn't increased enough. Whole lot of them are blood sucking parasites.

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    "the positive news is that landlords demonstrate a much greater awareness of the ways to improve the energy efficiency of their rental properties" (than homeowners).

    So renters should benefit from this more than if they owned their own home.
    E.g. my 2 lots of tenants who have EPC - C rating in a 1930s building.
    (Doesn't get over the viability issues though. After end of coalition, government massively cut numbers of households helped each year.)

    Good news about landlords for a change.

    Probably because (professional) landlords know, or research, what to do; more than homeowners.
    Another downside to policies making Llds sell-up; adding to decreasing supply and thus increasing rents.

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    Lloyds Bank are a big competititpr to the PRS sector, who undercut them! So they want the PRS gone.
    I give advice to the tenants about saving energy, which they ignore.


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