Elmhurst issues draft response to PRS MEES consultation

Recently the department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched a consultation which looks at improving the energy performance of privately rented homes in England and Wales.

Elmhurst has reflected on the questions posed by this consultation and has created a draft response in order to stimulate debate amongst our expert members as well as other housing and energy professionals within the industry. As with any previous consultation Elmhurst has provided an overview of the issues and our proposals.

The principles which influence our responses are:

  • To assist BEIS to consider all aspects of the impact of changes to legislation on the private rented sector taking into account ways in which the national housing stock can be improved in respect of energy efficiency, whilst considering fuel poverty, energy costs and the need to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Approximately a fifth of the UK population now lives in privately rented accommodation.
  • Robust enforcement of the Private Rented Sector Regulations in general and the Exemptions Register in particular is timely for review.

Executive summary of Elmhurst's response:

  • We support the move to C rated rented homes
  • We support the addition of a carbon metric to be used, using medium term plans to ensure good outcomes for landlords and tenants
  • We advocate for a fabric first, whole house approach, using PAS2035 principals
  • We call for adequate funding and resourcing for compliance and enforcement
  • We call for independent competency scheme to apply for exemptions (not self-declared)

Stuart Fairlie Technical & Operations Director at Elmhurst states “We welcome the consultation and we fully believe that the PRS regulations implemented a few years back, was just the beginning of the road towards warmer, cheaper to run, more energy efficient and healthier rental homes. We therefore support the drive towards a tougher target where it is appropriate, achievable and safe to do so.”

“We also need to make sure that as well as driving down the costs to run the homes, we need also create better homes for the climate and therefore reduce carbon emissions. The methodology and assessment process delivers both metrics (cost and carbon) and we support the move towards compliance on more than one metric. We must therefore make sure that all the metrics are given equal prominence on the new look EPC and that policy dictates the standards required. If landlords and thereby tenants are to meet the new targets, they will need to seek advice from energy professionals (Elmhurst members), and the whole house approach is needed so that the right measure(s) go into the right home in the right order, for the good of the landlord and the occupier.”

Elmhurst is keen to hear the views of our members before compiling a final response, which is why we have created a quick form that you can use to let us know your thoughts. We will review every response and attempt to include them within our final submission. Please do however feel free to respond yourself, which you can do using the consultation link provided below.

The deadline for this consultation is: 30th December 2020

Link to Consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-the-energy-performance-of-privately-rented-homes

Elmhurst's Draft Response

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Article published: 05/11/20

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