Industry body urges government to double proposed maximum spend limit for landlords renting out properties with the lowest energy efficiency ratings in consultation response
The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) has argued that the government should double a proposed cap on landlord spending in order to better improve the energy efficiency of private rental properties by allowing for fitting of central heating systems.
HHIC director Stewart Clements has said that expanding an intended spending cap to £5000 for landlords to improve the coldest and most inefficient homes would be vital to ensure more properties can meet minimum required EPC standards.
His calls have been made in response to the ‘Domestic Private Rented Sector minimum level of energy efficiency consultation’ that has backed raising cost liabilities for landlords in the private rental sector to invest in more efficient technologies for less efficient homes.
The consultation, which stopped taking evidence today, was launched late last year to get industry feedback on setting a limit of £2,500 per property for private landlords to improve buildings with the lowest EPC ratings of F and G.
It will be illegal to privately let a home that has an EPC rating ranked between F to G from April this year. Although a few exemptions will be offered.
Although the HHIC welcomed proposals to introduce a capped landlord contribution for properties with the lowest energy efficiency ratings, it argued that the government’s preferred figure of £2,500 will help only 30 per cent of homes to reach the minimum required standards.
It argued that a £5000 upper limit on required spending could see the number of homes meeting standards rise to around 120,000 properties as opposed to 85,000 estimated under the current proposals.
Mr Clements claimed that an increased cap of a sufficient financial value would allow for central heating systems to be fitted as a means to ensure more efficient heating for homes.
“We urge the government to recognise that insulation alone will not keep a home warm, you need an efficient heating system too. And gas central heating is the most obvious solution for most. “
“Increased energy efficiency not only helps reduce carbon emissions, it also helps people heat their homes in a more effective manner, reducing the risk of living in miserably, cold, inefficient homes. Landlords must begin to play a role in ensuring the houses they let are energy efficient, and we encourage the government to be more ambitious in their plans for the Private Rented Sector.”
According to HHIC, an estimated four million UK homes are impacted by fuel poverty, a term used to define properties where at least 10 per cent of annual income is spent on powering heating systems.
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has previously called on the government to increase its preferred spend cap in order to encourage more efficient heating of homes.