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Sunak slammed for U-turn on private rental energy efficiency

An industry body - the Property Energy Professionals Association - has condemned the Prime Minister’s abandonment of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in the rental sector.

It claims the move will condemn the poorest in society into fuel poverty for years to come. 

Mike Ockenden, head of secretariat for PEPA, says: “It is well known that landlords were improving the energy efficiency of their properties in anticipation of the minimum EPC C rating under MEES being introduced by 2028 at the latest. Currently set at an E rating as a minimum, MEES has progressively been delivering warmer homes and lower costs for those in the poorest performing rental properties and taking tenants out of fuel poverty. The Prime Minister’s actions will halt this in its tracks.”


Ten days ago Sunak pledged a number of unexpected backtracks on previous Net Zero commitments.

These included scrapping policies to force landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties, but instead continue to encourage households to do so where they can; raising the Boiler Upgrade Grant by 50 per cent to £7,500 to help households who want to replace their gas boilers with a low-carbon alternative like a heat pump; and delaying the ban on installing oil and LPG boilers, and new coal heating, for off-gas-grid homes to 2035, instead of phasing them out from 2026. 

A statement from PEPA over the weekend says it is “concerned by the misleading statements by the Prime Minister about the cost of achieving improved energy efficiency. In many cases the cost may be relatively low, have short payback periods of a few years and will really benefit tenants.”

It continues: “It is not all about replacing boilers with heat pumps; in many cases it is about improving insulation, reducing drafts and installing LED lighting and better heating controls. The lack of clarity on this matter over the last three years (since a consultation on increasing minimum standards) has already led to understandable confusion and inaction from landlords, plunging hundreds of thousands more tenants into fuel poverty.” 

Ockenden adds: “Those of a cynical nature might suggest that Sunak’s announcement panders to the landlord contingent in the Tory party, and such a view might be compounded by the delay in implementation of the Renters Reform Bill which appears to be entering long grass territory.”

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    I’ve got a lot of time for the PEPA. For the EPCs and advice I commission for my own properties and clients’ buildings, I always ensure that the energy assessors are members of this professional body. They are actual experts in domestic property energy efficiency.

  • jeremy clarke

    There are far more properties in the social sector and under home ownership that need to meet E before attacking the relatively small PRS.

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    I knew this would set off Gibbo. His blood pressure must be sky high. No mention by Ockenden of the eight million Victorian slums, so beloved by Gibbo. How disappointed he must be.

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    Who are these Mickey Mouse outfits that appear out of nowhere? Put it to vote who had heard of them before this article and I doubt you would get double figures. Another self serving outfit that would see landlords sell up and tenants on the streets.


    Oh dear, Adrian. Mickey Mouse outfits? You have poked the Gibbo bear!

  • Barry X

    Who could have guessed someone - this time another unimportant self-opinionated "Mickey Mouse outfit"as @AL accurately put it - would grumble & criticise the government (these days for some reason you have to say "slam" them - another ridiculously purile modern affectation by the way) for wavering on going ahead with giving them yet more scope in their bogus exploitive "industry" to rip us off with addition costly and pointless compliance?

    ...and of course, as others have also commented here, also set the Gibbons MEES-bot off on another of its little artifical and unintelligent (as well as unintelligeable) rants?

  • Fed Up Landlord

    Funny I read Gen Rent AI Gibbos post a bit different. Perhaps it's my ADHGV perspective caused by Section 21 PTSD from Corporal Gove. I read it as....

    "I’ve not got a lot of time for the PEPA. For the EPCs and advice I don't bother to commission for my own properties and clients’ buildings, I always ensure that the energy assessors are not lefty liberal tree huggers trying to save the world when China has built 200 coal fired power stations and the UK is less than 1% of global emissions"



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