Further delays to energy efficiency in private rented sector

Government response to higher energy efficiency standards for the private rented sector may not be released until the end of the year.

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By George Smeeton


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The Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero has confirmed that the Government response to higher energy efficiency standards for the private rented sector, which were consulted on in early 2021, may not be released until the end of the year [1, 2].

Commenting, Jess Ralston, Head of Energy at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: “Delays to energy efficiency improvements keep tenants bills higher for longer and landlords in the dark about what they’re expected to do.

“You’d think that an energy security and bills crisis would put reducing gas use – and bills – at the top of the Government’s list, but it seems a lack of certainty around policy is becoming a theme with delays to decisions on boilers for off gas grid homes, new builds in the Future Homes Standard, and onshore wind.

“With the North Sea continuing its decline, unless we use less gas in our homes we’ll be more reliant on foreign gas imports in the future.”


Notes to editors:

  1. In response to a written question from the Rt Hon Sir Alok Sharma MP, the Rt Hon Graham Stuart MP said: “The consultation on improving the energy performance of privately rented homes closed on 8th January 2021. The Government is continuing to refine the policy design to ensure the costs and circumstances relating to energy efficiency improvements are fair and proportionate for landlords and tenants. The Government will publish a summary of responses by the end of this year.”https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2023-04-14.180471.h
  2. The consultation on private rented sector Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, which would put an obligation on landlords to meet Energy Performance Certificate band C in new tenancies from 2025 and in all tenancies from 2028 closed more than two years ago (January 2021). There are exemptions for homes where it would not be cost-effective, practical or affordable, or where the landlord would need to spend more than £10,000 on improvements. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-the-energy-performance-of-privately-rented-homes
  3. Around a quarter of privately rented homes were classed as ‘non-decent’ in 2022, and over half (55%) were below Energy Performance Certificate band C, the Government’s target for all homes by 2035, in 2021.
  4. Recent ECIU analysis found that a two-year delay to implementing Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in the private rented sector could cost bill payers more than £1bn: https://eciu.net/media/press-releases/2023/government-delay-to-insulation-could-cost-private-renters-1bn-in-energy-bills
  5. ECIU analysis has also found that the Government’s energy independence plan will leave UK more dependent on imports of gas: https://eciu.net/media/press-releases/2023/governments-energy-independence-plan-will-leave-uk-more-dependent-on-imports
  6. For more information:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email: george.smeeton@eciu.net