Comments from the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) declare that new government guidelines are set to bring over 300,000 private rental properties to standard.
The comments come prior to the publication of government guidelines, which will outline how the 330,000 privately rented homes that do not currently meet minimum energy efficiency standards can be improved in standard.
ACE asserted that it supported the requirements for landlords to implement energy efficiency measures ‘provided the cost is not too great’, due to the fact that this could allow them to claim an exemption from adhering to standards. ACE therefore proposed a cap of £5,000 for energy efficiency improvements. It added that compliance with the new energy efficiency standards could in fact cost as little as £600.
It also said compliance with new domestic energy efficiency standards could cost many landlords as little as £600 per home.
ACE chief executive Joanne Wade explained: ‘Currently, landlords don’t have to pay for any regulations that are formed, they only have to comply if they can find the funding, for example from local authorities. It would be less hassle just to pay for the products to make energy more efficient, as opposed to looking for exemptions. How landlords should spend £600, would depend on how to get their energy performance ratings higher. This could include better heating control rafts, replacing windows and loft insulations. We are not asking for major work to be done.’
The energy efficiency measures could also be beneficial to landlords. Ms Wade continued: ‘If landlords were to make their properties more energy efficient, they would make their properties worth more, be easier to let, and improved standards would lead to a lower turnover of tenants. Looking to the next budget statement, I think that we need to provide longer term incentives to landlords that what are currently on offer, and stop the staccato progress on incentives. For example, a policy of zero rated VAT for implementing energy efficiency measures could be introduced. To boost the link between a higher level of energy efficiency and higher quality apartments.’