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RLA victory in energy efficiency battle

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The way in which energy efficiency ratings are determined is changing, following a campaign spearheaded by the Residential Landlords Association.

The way in which energy efficiency ratings are determined is changing, following a campaign spearheaded by the Residential Landlords Association.

The Government has agreed to adapt software used to establish Energy Performance Certificate ratings – after it was revealed up to 10,000 properties could have been wrongly classified.

Figures from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) showed that Energy Performance Certificates can understate the energy efficiency of homes with solid walls and uninsulated cavity walls, and the group claimed that thousands had been given incorrect F and G classifications – the lowest ratings possible.

From April 2018 onwards a minimum EPC rating of an E will be required in all private rented accommodation.

Now, following a meeting with the Department for Energy and Climate Change the RLA has been assured that the Government is making changes to the EPC software which measures the thermal efficiency of solid walls – to bring this into line with the research published by the BRE.

Richard Jones, policy adviser and RLA company secretary has welcomed the news.

He said: “From April 2018 landlords of properties given a rated of F or G will have to upgrade to meet the minimum E standard.

“If landlords are faced with compulsion this should be based on sound science, especially as landlords face financial penalties for non-compliance.

“There has been a question mark over the reliability of EPCs around solid wall properties, many of which are owned by private landlords.

“The BRE report has confirmed these suspicions and it is vital that the Government takes action to rectify this problem at the earliest possible opportunity as the start of compulsion draws near.

“We welcome the assurances we have received from the Government and will be keeping a close eye on the situation.”

Mortgage Interest Relief

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Media and Communications Officer for the RLA. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

7 Comments

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  • From April 2018 onwards a minimum EPC rating of an E will be required in all private rented accommodation.

    This is madness.
    Who will enforce it? How will it be enforced?
    Are we to be required to fill cavity walls in our Victorian townhouses, when this abominable and irreversible practice will shorten the life of the building by causing untreatable condensation?
    Buildings have to be able to breathe!!
    Who will pay the compensation to property owners forced by law to use such unintelligent insulation techniques, when condensation resulting from these idiotic procedures rots the joists and renders the building uninhabitable?

  • This is great action by RLA I not only think the science is flawed around solid wall insulating qualities but have also sufferred what I consider to be an unfairly low rating on my property because the EPC assessors have no category or button to acknowledge that electric wall mounted heaters may be much more efficient than electric storage radiators. This is well accepted to be the case. In an area where gas is not an option I get very low ratings whereas I have spent loads of money on the latest technology.
    E Hempsall

  • I would also like to comment on wrongly clasified properties. The property that I let has 2 energy efficient facets which were totaly dismised by the inspector. When I chalenged her in writing, she consulted her superior and told me that if the inspector cannot see it then it is deemed not to exist and cannot be included in the energy efficient calculation.
    The 2 Energy efficient items not taken into account, are
    1) The hot water tank has a thermostat to control the water temperature (that the inspector couldn´t see because she was a very big woman and didn’t go into the loft, and nearly fell of the stepladder just looking into the loft.
    2) There is a solid fuel fireplace with a high output backboiler which augments the oil boiler for heating and hot water.
    Neither of these2 items were taken into account

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