More Calls For EPCs To Be Reviewed And Removed?

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has supported a report by MPS which criticises Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), and has called for a better standard of energy-efficiency measures for properties.

At this point in time, rental properties must have a rating of E or better. However, the Government is looking to raise the minimum rating from E to C. The timescale for this change is as follows:

  • New tenancies should hold at least a C rating by 2025
  • All existing tenancies should hold at least a C rating by 2028

The all-party Environmental Audit Committee states EPCs are outdated. They also state that EPCs don’t support modern energy efficiency, nor do they support low carbon heating measures.

The group says the Government has underestimated the costs associated decarbonising UK homes by 2050. They claim the underestimation stands at between £35 billion and £65 billion.

Cost will always be a significant factor

Around 19 million properties in the country require upgrades to meet band C standards. This might cost on average £18,000 per property. If so, this is a figure which is significantly higher than the Government’s estimate.

NRLA local authority policy officer Gavin Dick says: “We welcome the report, which features a range of recommendations that the NRLA have been calling for, which we believe would ensure landlords are empowered to make these essential changes. We know that landlords are willing to do the work, but they require more information on what updates to make and the order in which to do this work to make their properties energy efficient.”

Gavin Dick concludes by saying; “The committee recommendation also supports the NRLA’s calls to Government to roll over funds for the Green Homes Grants scheme. We’re also very supportive of the Committee’s call for the introduction of Building Renovation Passports to aid in the decarbonisation of homes. In our view the Committee’s recommendations would give landlords confidence to carry out the work to ensure the PRS plays its role in helping to bring about a net zero Britain by 2050.”

There are many recommendations to consider

As well as recommending EPCs are replaced with Building Renovation Passports, the MPs’ committee made the following recommendations:

  • All allocated funding for the Green Homes Grant that has not been spent by the end of March 2021 should be rolled over
  • Government should set out an ambitious but realistic trajectory for owner occupiers to achieve minimum EPC C standards in its Heat and Buildings Strategy
  • Government should work with the financial sector and major landlords, including local authorities and other social landlords, to stimulate renovation through green mortgages, green finance and low-cost loans
  • Schemes such as the Home Upgrade Grants, Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and phase two of the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme should all have their funding front-loaded and the schemes rolled out without delay
  • The Chancellor should reconsider proposals to reduce to five per cent the rate of VAT on the labour element of refurbishment and renovations, and reinstate the reduced rate of VAT payable on Energy Saving Materials at five per cent while expanding its scope to cover energy storage, heat pumps and electric vehicle charging. Up until 2019, certain clean technologies were eligible for a reduced rate of VAT of five per cent
  • The government should consider how the national infrastructure bank could be used as a vehicle to finance energy efficiency given the scale of success achieved in Germany through its state funded low interest loan scheme
  • The government should set out how energy efficiency improvements can be reached in homes currently out of scope in its “cost effective, practical and affordable” criteria
  • The government’s basic energy advice service available in England should be upgraded to a specialist bespoke advice service similar to the Home Energy Scotland network
  • The social rented sector should be subject to the same standards as the private rented sector

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.