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Energy Fightback: Petition argues against stricter rental EPCs

An online petition is voicing opposition to government calls for ever-improving EPCs in the private rental sector. 

Nottingham landlord Tricia Urquhart has started the petition to argue against proposals to raise the minimum energy efficiency rating from Band E to C for new tenancies from 2025 and for all existing tenancies from 2028.

The proposals have caused uproar with a warning just last week from the rural trade body the CLA that the measures could lead to 50,000 countryside properties being taken out of the rental market and sold off.


Now this new petition - which you can see here - says the measures are based on “flawed assessments” and are unfair and unlikely to achieve their aim. 

“Under the current rating system it will be very difficult to improve a rating from an E to a C in many properties. Applying the legislation to the private rental sector without addressing the remaining housing stock is unfair and will result in many landlords dumping their inefficient properties into the private market, where improvements will be unlikely, thereby failing to achieve the government's aim” says Urquhart in her petition.

The government’s proposals - not yet law - suggest the move to make the private rental sector greener is part of a masterplan to de-carbonise buildings to mitigate climate change.

The EPC improvements are only part of the masterplan.

The proposals would see the private rental sector subject to ever-stricter energy targets in the next decade in order to:

- decrease bills for low income and vulnerable tenants, in support of the government’s statutory fuel poverty target;

- increase the quality, value and desirability of landlords’ assets;

- reduce energy bills for tenants and ensure warmer homes;

- support investment in the domestic retrofit supply chain across England and Wales;

- provide greater energy security through lower energy demand on the grid and reduced fuel imports.

Although there are some options in the 48-page document released by the government in October, the “preferred policy scenario for improving the energy performance of privately rented homes” consists of four elements:

- raising the energy performance standard to Energy Performance Certificate energy efficiency rating Band C;

- achieving the improvements for new tenancies from 2025 and all tenancies from 2028;

- increasing the maximum investment amount, resulting in an average per-property spend of £4,700 under a £10,000 cap; and

- introducing what government calls a ‘fabric first’ approach to energy performance improvements (this is improving the performance of the materials that make up the building fabric itself, before considering the use of mechanical systems).

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    Signed Well done Tricia

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    Also signed Tricia.

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    This is a well intentioned Petition that will undoubtedly receive support from Private Landlords.

    It must however be set to fail for a number of reasons; the argument is flawed. The issue is not the rating but how the properties are assessed when for example, heating is taken into account.

    Gas central heating is set to removed from new build in 2025 and yet it helps a property achieve a higher rating than modern electric convector heaters.

    Asking the Government to not to seek an improved rating should not be the issue. By this petition ;

    1. You are in effect asking the Government not to improve the "Perceived improvement " to the housing stock in terms of energy efficiency
    2. There will be little support in the House from Labour not to improve the "Lot" of the tenant whose viewpoint will ably be supported by Shelter & Generation Rent.
    3. The Government are equally committed to helping the tenant over the Landlord as seen by the support of the removal of Section 21 Notices and its lack of support for Landlords during the pandemic.
    4. Band C is just over the mid point of the total banding. Leaving Band E (the 5th lowest banding from 7) as the standard could not be seen as reasonable. You can't legally buy an electrical appliance with an energy efficiency rating of C,
    5. The Government in November 21 is hosting the UN Conference on Climate change. Can not see them deferring a measure to delay the reduction of carbon emissions.
    6. For existing tenancies, the measures do not take effect until 2028. A potential 7 years away. So worst case scenario, new tenant in 2024 and still another 4 years to implement. Fair notice

    Perhaps, it would be better to swim with the tide, but on the Landlords terms rather than the Governments.


    Very well put and sort of get it. The expense suggested to bring to band C just won’t happen. However these properties will only be sold to owner occupiers not held to the same standards.
    I say reclassify so C- is a pass. The reality is there is nowhere for tenants to go of these properties are taken from the rental market

  • Mick Roberts

    My notes on EPC to C

    Out of all my houses, I've got a lot of 1970's. And many of them are EPC rating D. And they have latest combi boiler, UPVC, loft insulation, I'm sure I have many E's.
    So to get to C if anything more can be done, this is gonna' cost & who is paying for this? I can give tenant a brand new house if Govt wish, but we all know New-Builds cost more to buy & rent.
    I think this C rating if comes in will be the final nail. I reckon supply will reduce then more than now, & remaining rents will rocket.


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