Housing Secretary Michael Gove has suggested a delay in bringing in energy efficiency plans for the private renter sector.
Citing financial pressures on landlords, he told The Telegraph that the government should relax the pace of changes to EPC targets which is expected to see them forced to obtain a C grade for their properties by 2028. This could include spending thousands on fitting a heat pump, insulation or solar panels, with a national cap of £10,000.
“My own strong view is that we’re asking too much too quickly,” said Gove. “We do want to move towards greater energy efficiency, but just at this point, when landlords face so much, I think that we should relax the pace that’s been set for people in the private rented sector, particularly because many of them are currently facing a big capital outlay in order to improve that efficiency.”
Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive, says there was never any hope of meeting the originally proposed deadlines, which it told the Minister earlier this month.
“The NRLA wants to see properties as energy efficient as possible, but the sector needs certainty about how and when this will happen,” he adds. “Ministers need to develop a proper plan that includes a fair financial package to support improvements in the private rented sector. We will continue to work with all parties to develop pragmatic and workable proposals.”
A rethink could be timely as new research by Green Building Renewables reveals that 63% of landlords plan to sell properties rather than improve them to meet new EPC targets, leading to a shortage of rental properties.
In June, Energy Minister Andrew Bowie admitted that landlords would have to wait many more months to find out the details of government proposals to raise the minimum Energy Performance Certificate for rented properties.