Retrofit regs could be a game changer, says green lobby group

Regulations making it illegal for landlords to rent out the most energy inefficient homes and properties could be the “single most significant piece of legislation in a generation” affecting existing buildings, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) said today.

The UKGBC’s statement coincides with energy secretary Ed Davey’s presentation of the minimum energy performance Standards (MEPS) regulations in parliament today. The regulations mean that from April 2018 landlords will be required to install energy saving measures in homes and non-domestic buildings which fall into the two worst energy efficiency ratings, energy performance certificate (EPC) bands F and G.

From April 2016, landlords of privately rented homes will also be required to accept reasonable requests from tenants for energy efficiency measures to be installed.

John Alker, acting chief executive of UKGBC said: “This could be the single most significant piece of legislation to affect our existing building stock in a generation, affecting a huge swathe of rented properties. Government deserves huge credit for sticking to its guns.

“Some will undoubtedly cry ‘red tape’, but good landlords and forward-thinking property companies have nothing to fear. This could provide the impetus needed to upgrade our worst-performing, most energy-hungry rented properties and help to kick-start a multi-million pound market in energy efficiency products and services in the UK.”

Secretary of state for energy and climate change Ed Davey said: “These new laws will plug the gaps in draughty homes – helping households to keep warm and drive down bills.

“Many of the poorest tenants will benefit and, with government support, landlords can improve their properties at no upfront cost.”

Financial support is available through the green deal and energy company obligation.

The government is also drawing up plans for a £25m fund to support the installation of first-time central heating systems in off-grid households.

The government will be announcing its Fuel Poverty Strategy soon.

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