Forty per cent of privately rented homes in England are unlikely to achieve the energy efficiency rating target set to become law in 2028.
Propertymark says its analysis of the latest English Housing Survey shows that 60 per cent of the rental sector will have achieved the minimum EPC C rating by that time - but four out of 10 will not.
The Westminster government has yet to respond to a consultation it held in 2020 on how to boost rental sector energy efficiency, but a draft strategy includes a ‘preferred policy scenario’ for new tenancies to have an EPC rating of C or above by 2025, extending to all tenancies by 2028.
A Private Members’ Bill with the same requirements was introduced by Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale in the spring, but has not yet made progress.
Propertymark wants the Westminster government to move away from a one-size-fits-all policy in favour of energy efficiency proposals that consider a property’s age, condition, and size rather than its tenure.
A new report from Propertymark highlights the variances in retrofitting costs based on individual characteristics and regional property values. It includes proposals for local councils to develop ‘one stop shops’ to engage with landlords to find suitable methods to facilitate retrofit at pace which has also been recommended by stakeholders such as the Local Government Association.
Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns for Propertymark, comments: “We knew it would be a huge challenge for the PRS to achieve the proposed 2028 target because the owners of rental properties will not directly benefit from lower energy bills, so where is their incentive? The data in the English Housing Survey shows just how far there is to go.
“The new UK government should take heed of this projected shortfall if it is serious about net zero, and against the backdrop of the huge sums of money it has had to commit in the short-term to help householders with their rising bills amid the cost-of-living crisis.
“Our member agents are already seeing rental properties disappearing from the market for a variety of reasons and there is a real danger more could go with the EPC rating target hanging over them.
“Propertymark supports moves to improve the energy efficiency of property types and will continue to lobby for a national retrofit strategy with realistic, fair and achievable targets alongside dedicated, long-term grants that consider each property’s individual characteristics.”
According to the English Housing Survey, 68 per cent of housing association homes are currently rated at C or above, compared to 61 per cent of council homes and 42 per cent of those owner-occupied.