The All Party Parliamentary Group for the private rented sector has launched an inquiry into the energy efficiency of private rented housing.
The private rented sector (PRS) is a rapidly growing part of the housing market. Of the 22.8m households in England in 2011, 4 million were privately rented (17.5% of the English housing stock). This was an increase of 1.6 million in only six years – and is the highest level since the early 1990s.
Compared with the other housing sectors, the PRS has the highest proportion (11%) of the most energy inefficient homes (those in EPC Bands F and G).
By comparison, less than 2% of social housing is F & G rated.
After a widely supported civil society campaign, in 2011 the Government recognised the need for these properties to be improved and the lives of tenants living in them to be made warmer and healthier. The 2011 Energy Act placed a duty on the Secretary of State to introduce a minimum standard for private rented housing from April 2018 at the latest.
Consequently, from 1st April 2018, all privately rented properties will be required to have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an energy performance certificate. This is likely to pose significant challenges given that privately rented homes are generally older and harder to treat than properties in other tenures.
The group’s inquiry follows the government’s decision not to renew the landlord energy savings allowance in the March budget. This had originally been introduced to encourage landlords to improve the energy efficiency of the properties they let but was dropped because of low take up.
Announcing the inquiry, the group’s chairman, Oliver Colvile, member of parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said: “With the winter months just around the corner, improving the energy efficiency of rented housing is a crucial issue.
“The group’s inquiry will look to develop new ideas that will support landlords to meet their new target; save tenants money on their bills and help improve standards. I would encourage all those with an interest to submit their suggestions.”
Those with an interest in these subjects are invited to provide written submissions of no more than 1,500 words to Ed Jacobs on firstname.lastname@example.org by 23rd October.