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Consultation to address private rented sector

The Government has begun a consultation on Domestic Private Rented Sector Energy Efficiency Regulations.

The consultation seeks views on the proposed regulations under the Energy Act 2011 to provide tenants with a right to request consent to energy efficiency improvements and a minimum energy efficiency standard for properties in the domestic private rented sector in England and Wales.

The Energy Act 2011 places a duty on the Secretary of State to bring into force regulations to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the domestic and non-domestic private rented sector in England and Wales

Domestic and non-domestic private rented sector Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations must be in force by 1 April 2018, and will require all eligible properties in the sector to be improved to a specified minimum standard.

Domestic private rented sector Tenant’s Energy Efficiency Improvement Regulations must be in force by 1 April 2016 and will empower tenants in the sector to request consent for energy efficiency measures that may not unreasonably be refused by the landlord.

HHIC director Roger Webb: “We believe that the Government is right to look at how energy efficient properties in the domestic private rented sector are. Tenants who want to cut their energy consumption and reduce their fuel bills need to know that their landlords cannot simply ignore their requests.

“However we are concerned that by not requiring landlords to make upfront contributions, DECC are missing an opportunity to make the sector as energy efficient as the social housing sector. We are also worried that relying on the EPC system is too restrictive and may exclude certain technologies such as hot water cylinders and advanced heating controls which can have a profound effect on energy efficiency.

“Under the proposed regulations there is a requirement for the installations to be carried out to PAS2030 standards. This system is bureaucratic and expensive and as a result few installers have registered. HHIC would urge DECC to engage with the industry to identify a more suitable and cost effective alternative such as the benchmark scheme. ”

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