Landlords ‘must do more’ to ensure their houses are energy efficient, according to the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC).
Current 2015 Energy Efficiency Regulations specify that mandatory efficiency improvements to rented properties must be at no cost to the landlord.
The government has recently proposed to remove this principle, introducing instead a landlord contribution element, with a suggested cost cap of £2,500, to ensure improvements to Band F and G properties can be delivered.
HHIC has welcomed this proposal, contained within ‘The Domestic Private Rented Sector minimum level of energy efficiency’ consultation’, but has called for the cap to be increased to £5,000.
According to the Council, a spending cap of £2,500 will only help 30 per cent of houses reach Energy Performance Certificate band E, potentially helping to improve just 85,000 homes. A cap of £5,000, however, could lift more than 120,000 to this banding.
Stewart Clements, Director of HHIC, says: “A cap that allows for first-time central heating systems to be fitted is necessary, because it is the best way to improve the EPC of a property.
“We urge the government to recognise that insulation alone will not keep a home warm. You need an efficient heating system, and gas central heating is the most obvious solution for most.”
Levels of fuel poverty are highest in the private rental sector, where one in five households struggle with their energy bills. Approximately 42 per cent of rented households with EPC ratings in bands F and G are in fuel poverty.