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Graham Awards


EPC changes binned as Sunak makes eco U-turn

Under revised plans, the Government will:

- Scrap policies to force landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties, but instead continue to encourage households to do so where they can;

- Raise the Boiler Upgrade Grant by 50% to £7,500 to help households who want to replace their gas boilers with a low-carbon alternative like a heat pump.


- Delay the ban on installing oil and LPG boilers, and new coal heating, for off-gas-grid homes to 2035, instead of phasing them out from 2026. Many of these homes are not suitable for heat pumps, so this ensures homeowners are not having to spend around £10-15,000 on upgrading their homes in just three years’ time.

- Set an exemption to the phase out of fossil fuel boilers, including gas, in 2035, so that households who will most struggle to make the switch to heat pumps or other low-carbon alternatives won’t have to do so. This is expected to cover about a fifth of homes, including off-gas-grid homes - those that will need expensive retrofitting or a very large electricity connection.

- Rule out policy ideas that would require people to share cars, eat less meat and dairy, be taxed to discourage their flying, or have seven bins to hit recycling targets – removing worrying proposals that would interfere in the way people live their lives.

- Move back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by five years, so all sales of new cars from 2035 will be zero emission. This will enable families to wait to take advantage of falling prices over the coming decade if they wish to.

Michael Cook, Group Managing Director of Leaders Romans Group, says this is good news.

He says: “Whilst we recognise all individuals and industries must think differently and act differently to reduce their carbon footprint and the impact of climate change, we welcome this u-turn by the government.

“Essentially, asking homeowners and landlords to dig deeper into their pockets at this difficult time is unwanted pressure.

“Landlords in particular have been continually hit with higher taxation and legislation, coupled with inflationary pressure and higher interest rates, leading many to conclude that its is time to sell.

“This supply restriction has seen rents go up at a greater rate than in living memory. Reducing capital outlay by reversing out of policies like this is in everyone’s interest in the short to medium turn.”

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  • icon

    Useless and incompetent.

    • G W
    • 20 September 2023 18:06 PM

    How incompetent if they are seeing sense?…. Don’t get me wrong I think all politicians and their advisers are out of touch but at least he’s not enforcing it

  • icon

    Just wow, common sense 🎉🎉. My tenants may still have a home after 2028 now 😂😂. I managed to get onto Jeremy Vine this morning and say as much about the EPC proposed changes….. most of the others did not agree with me 🤔 oh well. Mr.Loophole agreed though 👌🏻

    • G W
    • 20 September 2023 18:07 PM

    It makes you think if the penny has dropped within governments


    10/10 for Rishi Sunak on this. Let's hope they see sense on the Renters Reform legislation too.

  • Wayne Church

    Good news, for landlords & energy assessors. The only fly in the ointment is Labour pledging to reverse some of these items in the announcement.


    If they now get in 👌🏻🎉

  • icon

    So -
    Let’s continue to have the most energy wasteful housing in the developed world.
    Let’s keep having 8 million UK families living in fuel poverty - that means they don’t turn on the heating at all winter long - like the Middle Ages.
    Let’s keep spending £37 billion of tax payers money (that’s real cash NOT spent on filling potholes and NHS) on the Energy Price Guarantee every time there is world energy shock.
    Let’s keep on installing brand new fossil fuel burning machines in our homes pushing out CO2 pollution for the next 15-20 years. Causing more challenges for my two children.
    Let’s have a General Election ASAP

    John  Adams

    How about we make tens thousands of people homeless as their homes aren't suitable for heat pumps. Let's all suffer power cuts because we have a national grid that can't cope with the increased demand from cars and heat pumps.
    Let's not worry about China, India and the USA and bankrupt ordinary people for this rush to zero.

    Fed Up Landlord

    Ah Mr Gibbons. All rhetoric and no evidence. Upset are we? Upset that the general public have been thrown a bone that will save them thousands of pounds? Upset that the left wing ideology has been thrown under the bus? Upset that common sense has eventually prevailed. Upset that the UK may be moving towards energy security?

    Good. Feel that pain.



    So glad to see your u turns too!

    I totally agree with all your points except the last one as Rishi needs more common sense u turns to ensure his victory later next year.

    BTW, putting 8 million into fuel poverty so they don't heat their homes is a stroke of genius! So much cheaper than shelling out on more insulation!


    Blah blah blah - just be quiet please Martin.



    He has seen the light and done a u turn too!

    • G W
    • 20 September 2023 20:11 PM

    Or let’s do all the green changes and improve global problems by our 2% and tank our economy in process


    Save £25 on your energy bill for a rent increase of £200 per month eh?


    Martin. Tell that to the Chinese.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Hey Up Martin, looks like the grown ups have grown a pair of balls..! Stick that in your Heat Pump Kidder..!


    Why not just say you're a Corbyn fan


    evidence??? you do spout some rubbish

  • icon

    Does this include Wales for the EPC?


    Given they want everyone travelling at a snails pace…. What do you think 😱

  • icon

    He could have scrapped ULEZ or phased good cars out to run their natural life, instead of scrapped perfectly good car now that had another 10 years in them, khan has cost my £20k to replace my perfectly good eClass Est’ with a another second hand e Class Est, pointless.

    John  Adams

    It makes you wonder what the point of the MOT emissions tests... ULEZ utter scam, they could simply have increased the MOT requirements as I bet your old vehicle met them.

  • icon

    Yes Martin great idea let’s continue to drive out landlords and keep creating more homelessness and add to the 150’000 already housed in temporary accommodation in London alone, any idea how much that’s costing the tax payers, compared to how little it would cost if housed in the private rented sector open market.
    The Minister told me it was costing £14k per placement in 1992.
    There can’t ever be enough Social Housing when everyone wants to be on it. they are not stupid.

  • icon

    Well, as if we didn't all see that coming. The only way to make it work is to make it worth people's while and target money where it is going to be effective at bringing about change. Can we afford to change so rapidly? Can we afford not to? I suspect we as a country are basically going to go bankrupt whichever way we play this, but at least the money saved on reducing fuel use and emissions should ultimately make it a wiser investment.

  • Peter Lewis

    Too late for me already sold up.
    This decision must be the HS2 of the Housing Market

  • icon

    This is excellent news for all landlords and especially good for leaseholders.
    I'll still make improvements when they seem sensible and cost effective, especially in the bills inclusive properties I own but it's great to know I can choose the timetable.
    If the government want us to voluntarily make upgrades full tax deductibility would be a good starting point. Don't mess about with means testing and having to be on the right benefits.

  • icon

    My newly qualified Gas Engineer son will get to keep his job!
    I can keep my Old chapel Conversion home that my husband and I have worked our entire lives in horrible frontline public service jobs to buy and I'm
    now going to hang on to one unmortgaged rental so another family wont be homeless........but if labour get in, its back to loosing all the above and worrying myself to death.
    We cannot let labour destroy our economy whilst China just laughs at us!!
    I've always voted Labour but NEVER again and although this is so welcome by the Tories I just dont think I can trust them.
    I'm starting to look at the Reform Party ....suggest some of you look too, although now Labour is clearly the landlords enemy, tacticle voting to keep them out will be my priority.
    Yes OK I'm being selfish...but I'm old now and have worked my a** off my entire life so sorry I'm going to enjoy what's left of my life !
    Sacrificing our economy will not make a drop of difference when the world is controlled by Crazed Russians, China and India.
    Cheers my fellow suffering landlords, I'm off for a drink!

  • icon
    • K B
    • 20 September 2023 19:20 PM

    Fe Fi fo Thumb I smell an Election

  • icon

    The thing is I always had the car service and maintained in perfect condition, the diesel filter housing was done, the oil filter housing done, the Merc’ copper injectors washers replaced so there was no leaks, it nice to keep it in good condition for scrapping ? I might as well have banged it. His criteria 6 years olds for diesels no reference to mileage. So a car with 50k miles has to be classed and treated the same as one with 150k, and he’s is in Charge of us and Mayor of London give us a break.

  • icon

    A little common sense at last

  • icon

    Rishi. Just one more small step scrap The Renter’s Reform Bill and we’ll solve the Housing Crisis for you in jig time

  • icon

    One small step in the right direction. Let's see some giant leaps and bin the RRB and Section 24.

  • icon

    Here's a common sense policy;

    There is no time limit to installing insulation upgrades to reach EPC C. However, when landlords come to sell, in the event they make capital gains after deducting mortgage interest, a proportion must be set aside in a green trust equivalent to a sinking fund that can insread be spent by the buyer on upgrades to insulation, heat pumps etc. The same requirement could be expected of all homeowners and scaled by the size of the capital gain.

    This achieves five things; the funding for green upgrades falls on those most fortunate who have realised profit through passive house price increases. Landlords struggling with negative equity and high interests payments are either unaffected or significantly less affected.

    The money is set aside at the point of maximum liquidity ie when the landlord comes to sell and doesn't have to take investments out from other vehicles and/or absorb additional loans in a high interest environment.

    It removes the rush to sell to avoid making upgrades before an arbitrary deadline. This would help shore up housing supply, and actively reduces the temptation to sell as the realisable benefit from the sale would be lower.

    It reduces the displacement of tenants for upgrades, instead predominanyly occurring at the beginning of the new ownership or at a time considered most convenient by the new owner

    Mitigates (but doesn't remove) the self-fulfilling prophecy of landlords worrying about the value of property below EPC C who would otherwise have sold it prematurely or reduced investment in such properties.

    Yes it will result in some sales where no money is put into a green trust, in which case the government should provide a scheme for an interest free loan to the buyer up to £15k to incentivise/compel them to update the property. Mortgage companies could then offer lower interest rates at the point of sale of a below EPC C property than they otherwise would have, given the reasonable expectation that it will shortly no longer be EPC C, with this benefit to the buyer helping to pay back the loan instead of recouped through higher rents. Cheaper interest rates would help prospective landlords and owner occupiers alike.



    Sorry, not in agreement.
    The buyer can buy a cheaper older property or buy a more expensive fully insulated property. Personally i'd buy the older property for build quality.
    Nobody discusses the use of energy. People whom want to live in 25 degrees heat and wear a t-shirt all year round and don't close doors and windows should not be supported in their choices by the tax payer or anybody else.
    Here's a thought, take responsibility for yourselves!

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Sorry Jimbo, you are on your own with that crackpot idea. How about incentivising landlords to do the upgrades. Easier and more productive, anything the state is involved with does not work.

  • Matthew Payne

    Dont everyone get too excited, this wasnt about landlords. The energy security bill is just going for Royal Assent and within it is a Henry 8th clause allowing goverment to ban any fossil fuel burning device whenever they want to, which the press cottoned onto earlier this week. Mr Sunak is simply putting some daylight between him and Labour on climate which at the same time is pretty popular with most people other than die hard greenies who want it all to happen now. Beware the clause means any governement can change their mind on this whenever they want to, no need to consult Parliament even. If Labour win the GE, all yesterdays announcement will go in the bin.

  • Elizabeth Campion

    None of these politicians fit for purpose. They are so detached from the electorate it's unreal.
    Of course we should encourage environmental incentives but progress into it not force the issue.
    Many people have shut up shop on their businesses most small property owners who used for pension top up.
    You still can't forward plan because you can't trust Labour to reverse this and use joining Europe as the incentive ( one way or other).
    It's time for change. Real change. Ordinary working people can't afford these vanity projects.
    New houses should be build to EPC A. Phase in.

  • Matthew Payne

    One bit of good news, goverment has brought forward domestic hydrogen trials to 2024, so whilst they are promoting heat pumps because they have no alternative at the moment, this is a strong signal where they think the future lies.

    Google h&v news hydrogen gov expands trials

  • icon

    Instead of the huge focus on EPC C just for LL I have always thought trying to get everyone up to an EPC of D would be a better target and grants made available to help.

  • icon

    Martin Gibbons has the rhetoric but does he have a single policy proposal on how all these electric cars - themselves horribly destructive of the environment and with huge carbon costs because of all the precious metals that need to be found and dug up - and heat pumps are going to be paid for?

    I've been estimated £40,000 to meet building regs and insulate my solid-wall Edwardian detached house, just to get it ready for a heat pump powered by mains electricity. So that's external wall insulation, internal insulation to reach the loft insulation where the roof overhangs too much for EWI, underfloor insulation, draught-proofing, new double glazing throughout, and then another £18K for a air heat pump, new radiators and controls, and a new hot water tank. How can I ever afford that when I am currently making a loss due to high interest rates? And if I sell, how is an owner-occupier couple meant to afford that sort of money, plus two electric cars, a recharger unit, solar panels and a storage battery? Because once they've finished with the LLs, the owner-occupiers will definitely be next in line to be forced to meet EPC Level A.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Move into the place and keep a beautiful period property the way it is.

  • Ted Sim

    Does anyone believe that China will take note of what the uk is doing (bankrupting itself with silly net zero policies) and stop building coalfired power stations?
    Of course not.
    In any case if we switched off everything in Britain, the growth in China would absorb that within a year. Totally point ĺess.


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