Who should be responsible for making rented homes in Britain greener? At the moment, the Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented properties, meaning the Government is putting the onus on landlords to upgrade their properties and cut carbon emissions. Since 1 April 2020, landlords have been unable to let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES regulations if they have an EPC rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption in place. This is set to get stricter with the Government committing to look at a “long-term trajectory to improve the energy performance standards of privately rented homes in England and Wales, with the aim for as many of them as possible to be upgraded to EPC Band C by 2030, where practical, cost-effective and affordable”. In order to achieve this in practice, landlords will have to carry out a range of refurbishments to properties that are currently considered to have low energy efficiency. Replacing gas boilers with heat pumps, installing cavity and wraparound insulation and switching supply to renewable sources are just a few of the steps needed to cut the 65 million tonnes of carbon dioxide produced by British homes each year since 2014. Yet exclusive data provided to i by buy-to-let specialist Mortgages for Business, shows that most landlords are reluctant to spend the money needed to make these improvements. Almost two thirds of private landlords, some 62 per cent, say they do not plan to switch gas boilers to heat pumps in their lets until the law makes it compulsory. More worryingly, 38 per cent of landlords say they cannot afford to invest in making their rental properties more energy efficient.
iNews 17th April 2021 read more »