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.”