Campaigns Environment, Safety and Standards Wales

Achieving low-carbon pathway to 2030 in Wales: RLA response

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

The RLA has responded to a consultation that was run by the Welsh Government, seeking views on how it can achieve its low carbon pathway, to 2030.

Proposal to set higher energy efficiency standards for new builds withing the residential sector-clarity needed

In our consultation response, we have raised some concerns about the above aspect of the Welsh Government’s proposal.

The consultation document outlines a proposal to set higher energy efficiency standards for new builds within the residential sector, and also a proposal top develop a long term residential retrofit programme, without additional support for landlords.

We acknowledge that improved energy efficiency within the private rented sector could yield environmental benefits as well as the potential to tackle fuel poverty. With the private rented sector increasingly housing more vulnerable tenants, this is especially important.

We have called on the Welsh Government to provide clarity on the implementation of a refit programme and to highlight the importance of financial assistance for landlords, to improve energy efficiency within their properties. This is important, given that there is a large proportion of housing stock and also high levels of solid wall homes within Wales.

Research conducted by RLA PEARL with our members, has found that existing requirements for properties to carry at least an E grade for Energy Performance Certificates has already had some adverse costs on landlords. Given the high proportion of F and G properties within Wales, the increased legislation without support, could impact the most vulnerable tenants with potential rent increases.

What else could be done to reduce emissions? The importance of engaging with landlords

Responding to the question on what else could be done to deliver the potential actions for reducing emissions, in our consultation response we have recommended that the Welsh Government engage with landlords and lenders, by outlining the benefits of bringing properties to a lower emissions standard.

With most properties in the private sector, the original upfront costs of lowering emissions could be mitigated against the increased future market value of a property. We specifically believe that a funding stream explicitly available for PRS landlords to improve decarbonisation would be advantageous. This funding stream would allow PRS tenants the opportunity to improve housing stock where appropriate and support tenants.

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About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

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