PRS to face ambitious energy targets?

A new Government consultation has set out an ambitious proposed trajectory for energy efficiency in the private rented sector.

The new consultation, from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), makes range of proposals, including that homes let in the private rented sector from 2025 should have to meet an energy efficiency rating of EPC C; with all homes in the private rented sector to reach this standard by 2028.

Other key policy proposals include:

  • Increasing the maximum investment amount, resulting in an average per-property spend of £4,700 under a £10,000 cap
  • Introducing a ‘fabric first’ approach to energy performance improvements

The NHC will be responding to the consultation, and is seeking member views. An online discussion has been arranged for 13.30 – 15.00 next Thursday, 5th November. NHC members can register to attend, free of charge, using MyNHC.

This member meeting follows a BEIS Local Authority Workshop today which the NHC assisted in coordinating northern attendees from its membership. At the workshop representatives from the Domestic Private Rented Sector Energy Efficiency team gave an overview of the above proposals, with specific focus given to suggestions covering compliance and enforcement policy. This included:

  • Introducing a new property compliance and exemptions database, new requirements regarding the provision of EPCs
  • Placing a requirement on letting agents and online property platforms
  • Strengthening local authority powers
  • Increasing the maximum fine level to £30,000
  • Strengthening tenant powers

NHC staff attended the workshop and will feedback at next week’s member consultation, before developing a response with attendees on behalf of the North.

Commenting, NHC Executive Director for Policy and Public Affairs Brian Robson said, “These are ambitious targets. We know the North’s PRS has high levels of non-decency and fuel poverty, so Government’s attention to this issue is welcome. However, we know that existing minimum targets have proven difficult to enforce – so it’s important Government get this right. I’d encourage members to contribute to our response.”

Members who cannot make the consultation event are invited to share their thoughts with NHC Senior Policy Advisor Karen Brown at by 27th November.