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Your Guide To: the proposal in which we increase the minimum energy efficiency standards

The Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings bill to increase the minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented properties to EPC Band C on new tenancies by 2028 is awaiting a second reading in the House of Lords - while an EPC action plan has been published to support these recommendations.

The government wants to raise the minimum energy efficiency standards to EPC Band C by 2025 for new tenancies in private rented homes and by 2028 for all tenancies to improve the overall energy performance of the private rented sector in England and Wales. The consultation on the proposals ran until 8 January 2021 and they feature in the Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings bill, which is now awaiting its second reading in the House of Lords. In line with the consultation, the government has announced a plan of action for how to improve the use and performance of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), which includes updating the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (EPB Regulations) in 2022.

There is a fear that work required to bring rental units up to new Energy Performance Certificate levels by 2025 could render many of them “unmortgageable and unprintable”.

According to the Ministry of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities there are some 13m homes in England and Wales currently with an EPC rating of D or below.

Legislating for a “fabric first” approach

A “fabric first” approach to energy efficiency prioritises improving the fabric efficiency of a building - for example, its insulation - before making improvements to its heat and electricity generation. In addition to cost-effectiveness, a fabric first approach is used to inform recommendations for improvements listed on an EPC. This means that improvements are listed in the following order:

1. insulation​
2. heating and hot water
3. windows and doors upgrades
4. electricity generation measures.

In practice, however, landlords can make the recommended improvements in any order, as long as they are complying with the recommendations. The government is considering ways in which to encourage landlords to take a fabric first approach, including whether or not this should be a requirement under the regulations.

Interested to find out more? Find it first HERE which is the Office For National statistics official site, for updates upon energy efficiency of housing in England and Wales: 2021.