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New government drive on private rental energy efficiency

The government will this week announce a new consultation on private rental sector energy efficiency - in particular, insulation.

This will be part of a revamped net zero strategy which will be launched on Thursday when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visits the UK’s oil and gas capital, Aberdeen.

The Guardian, which carried leaks of the government proposals, says the initiative is to be called Energy Security Day and will focus on measures to improve the country’s infrastructure.


The newspaper says there will be no compulsion on housebuilders to fit rooftop solar to new housing, as some have advocated.

Nor will there be a comprehensive nationwide programme for insulation of the UK’s housing stock. “Instead, the strongest insulation measure is likely to be a consultation on the private rented sector” it claims.

Green measures in the strategy will include an expansion of renewable energy, including offshore and onshore wind, plans to produce green hydrogen, and a drive to improve sales of electric vehicles and heat pumps.

There will also be bigger roles for carbon capture and storage technology plus the possible licensing of a massive new oilfield, Rosebank.

Activist group Generation Rent has already started rubbishing the government’s moves, with deputy director Dan Wilson Craw tweeting over the weekend: “This is alarming. We’ve already had a consultation on energy efficiency in the private rental sector 2.5 years ago which the government hasn’t even responded to.”

The energy efficiency issue is of critical importance to the lettings industry because the government has pledged to reduce energy consumption from buildings and industry 15 per cent by 2030, with aspirations for properties to have a minimum EPC rating of C in England and Wales by April 2025.

Under current government regulation, landlords are not expected to spend more than £3,500 on upgrades to meet the current EPC requirements for a rating of E. 

However, proposed changes could see all rental properties requiring an EPC rating of C by 2028, and a potential increase to this cap to £10,000, meaning landlords could be required to spend more to meet minimum requirements.

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  • George Dawes

    and storage technology plus the possible licensing of a massive new oilfield, Rosebank

    That sounds very environmentally friendly I don’t think …

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    The Government's long term advances in energy efficiency via EPCs, MEES and Building Regs Part L continues the drive to make Britain's' buildings better. 21 million domestic EPCs and 1 million commercial EPC on a transparent, public national database is a 'British Success Story' and the envy of the rest of the world. The facts don't lie - since EPCs started in 2008 and MEES in 2018 the UK's housing stock has gone up to 46% being EPC Grade C or above, from just 9% in 2008. Social housing has been getting its house in order (literally) with now 66% of its stock at EPC Grade C or above.
    An ever diminishing number of domestic landlords still seem to bury their heads in the sand about this but their wealth is now being removed from them by legislation, and mainly by the market. That's such a shame when just commissioning a draft 'as is' EPC and then a draft 'predicted' EPC with the cheapest route to EPC Grade C would stop their units becoming stranded assets. From the units I own its normally just been a case of getting all light bulbs to LED, cavity walls filled and 2 x layers of new Rockwool in the loft (100mm between the joists and 170mm at right angles over the top of the joists) to get them up to EPC Grade C. With one of my commercial units getting the EPC up to Grade B (MEES 2030 Compliant) helped me to secure the NHS as a excellent tenant because energy efficiency was very high of their selection criteria. I did this by changing all the lighting in the warehouse to LED, fitting in some basic electric air-con splits and replacing the old roof (which needed doing) with Tata Steel roofing panels with 120mm of solid PIR insulation. All very straightforward.


    Cut and paste working overtime I see 😂😂


    Taking a ‘standard’ property, LED bulbs, loft insulation and cavity wall will, in most cases *not* be enough. In any case, much of the rental stock is solid brick.

    Angst Landlordy

    I often wonder what will happen with our taxes when things, or catastrophic issues, are simply out of our control, say, the Andromeda and Milky Way collision, only a mere 4 billion year's away, but will taxes be able to help the new probably severe conditions?

    As we all know for a fact most scientists will be singing from the same sheet, they have to otherwise ostracised by all theirs peers.

    Extreme, I except, but there's something in me finding it hard believing in anything that started by coming out of Al Gores g0b 😁

  • icon

    The government may not be as stupid as we all think, they understand that if this comes in then a load of us will evict and sell up 🆘, they haven’t been in such a sticky situation since sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun 😂


    They have a cunning and subtle plan. As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.

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    While some types of insulation can be beneficial other types cause damp problems. Older cavity walls often have bridging problems when filled with insulation. Some older buildings need to breath and either internal or external insulation can hinder that. Anything with lime mortar or render for example.

    It seems bizarre new builds aren't going to have to have solar panels, batteries and heat pump heating. Retro fitting any of this stuff is far more expensive than simply doing it at build stage.

    The PRS needs some kind of government commitment to at least partially fund any energy saving improvements we make. At the absolute minimum it needs to be tax deductible at the point of installation, not classed as a Capital improvement. If they really wanted us to engage they could do a super deduction at 130% which is exactly what they did for commercial buildings.

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    If rental properties have to conform all properties owned by anyone should have to conform. Anything else is targeting the already weakened Private Rental Sector.


    Too many votes at risk in upsetting owner occupiers and tenants are proving they're by and large too dim to realise that the anti landlord measures are actually anti tenant!

    Scotland brought in legislation that all homes should have the same level of smoke alarms that PRS properties have had for years but whereas Landlords are prosecuted there are no plans to ensure that owner occupiers are prosecuted for non compliance.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The govt need to try being pragmatists for once !
    The goal should be to make all ' Reasonable ' improvements to each property, according to the financial and technological capabilities.

    Trying to make all pupils reach an ' A ' grade is about as sensible as expecting All homes to reach any particular Energy efficiency level.


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