Minimum energy standards will save tenants £400 a year
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Environment and also in Central Government, Regulation
Call for action over 'rip-off' energy bills
Introducing minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented sector properties will cost landlords less than £1,500 per home on average, while saving tenants over £400 a year on energy bills, research by the UK Green Building Council and WWF has revealed.
Under the Energy Act 2011, PRS landlords are obliged to upgrade their worst performing homes - those with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating in band 'F' or 'G' - to a minimum energy efficiency standard from April 2018.
Regulations are expected to prohibit the letting of properties in EPC bands 'F' and 'G' which don’t undertake cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.
The findings come amid concerns that there is significant opposition to minimum energy performance standards from within the coalition, and follow a letter from the chief executives of major property owners, developers and occupiers to the prime minister, urging the government to publish a consultation on the introduction of the standards in commercial properties.
Paul King, chief executive of the UK-GBC, said: “This research shows just how easy and affordable it will be for landlords to comply with the minimum standards, with improvements that won’t need to go through the planning system which can be costly and time consuming.
“Minimum standards are a complete no-brainer - they require only the most basic and cost-effective improvements to a home but could save hundreds of pounds a year to the tenant. The Government must introduce the regulations without delay to give badly needed certainty to both landlords and tenants.”
The research, conducted by Parity Projects, examined 3,000 properties rated as EPC band 'F' or 'G' and modelled the improvements that would be needed to reach band 'E'.
It found that:
- The average cost of reaching band 'E' was only £1,421 per home.
- The average annual energy bill saving by reaching band 'E' was £409 per year
- More than 70% of the properties were able to reach band 'E' for less than £1,000.
All of the properties examined were also able to comply without resorting to measures which may require planning permission, such as external wall insulation or solar PV.
Zoe Leader, climate & energy specialist for WWF-UK, said: “Improving the energy efficiency of our homes is critical to achieving our carbon emission reduction targets and protecting some of the most vulnerable against the very worst impacts of climate change.
"What this research also demonstrates, very clearly, is that implementing minimum energy efficiency standards is not only good for the environment but with average bill savings of £409 a year it is also good for our pockets.”