Elmhurst supports Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill

Last week Elmhurst were asked to back a private members bill by Lord Foster of Bath. Elmhurst always advocates and promotes its members work in producing energy assessments and energy certificates for the nation’s homes and commercial buildings and so were very willing to back the Bill which demands legislation to enforce some energy efficiency commitments already made by Government.

Lord Foster in the debate in the House of Lords on Friday 7th Feb, opened up:

“My Lords, I am pleased to introduce this relatively simple Bill. I look forward to hearing from noble Lords speaking in the debate.

The Bill is simple: it requires the Government to do a number of things, to which they have already committed in writing, by certain dates, but it does not require them to be done in a specified way. Flexibility is built into the Bill. There will of course be much to decide, from the definition of fuel poverty and the availability of data to how to retrofit listed buildings and how to incorporate the use of new technologies into energy performance certificates, but such decisions do not impact on the Bill.”

He went on to say:

“Despite all the efforts, though, and in light of the climate change emergency, it has become clear that not enough is being done. As the Chartered Association of Building Engineers, which supports the Bill, said: 

Overall, improving the energy efficiency of existing homes remains one of the key, but still to be fulfilled, challenges facing the property sector and is essential if we are to reduce carbon emissions and ensure all homes are warm and affordable to heat.

Writing of the need for swift action, Elmhurst Energy said:

"Now is the time to make that step change necessary to ensure that our existing housing stock is improved.”

The Domestic Premises (Energy Peformance) Bill essentially contains the following 3 pieces of legislation;

  1. Bring all fuel poor households up to EPC band C by 2030 with caveats where it is not technically feasible to achieve, or the costs are too excessive or where people do not allow it to occur.
  2. Bring all remaining homes up to EPC band C by 2035, where practicable, cost-effective and affordable.
  3. Ensuring that all new heating systems installed in existing properties have a water return temperature of no more than 55 degrees centigrade.

Lord Foster describes the situation for the UKs domestic homes in not meeting the ‘C’ rating:

“One estimate suggests that 19 million homes in the UK do not currently reach this standard.”

Stuart Fairlie Technical Director at Elmhurst stated “We welcome Lord Foster's Bill and watched as the excellent debate unfolded on Friday, with great supporting contributions by many members of the House of Lords.  We fully support the need to see action to address the poor energy efficiency of our old existing housing stock.  The Government published ambitions and targets back in 2017 in the Clean Growth Strategy. There are good rules for social and private landlords, the new building regulations is proposed (our response here) but what is urgently required is action for all of the UK’s 29 million existing homes. We wait to see progress in this vital sector.”

Elmhurst tirelessly campaigns on behalf of members to ensure that the EPC remains the cornerstone of energy efficiency policy. Improving the energy efficiency of existing homes is essential if the government wishes to tackle fuel poverty and carbon emissions, and we will continue to highlight this to policy makers and those in a position to advance this further. 

For a transcript of the full debate: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-02-07/debates/45023680-92D1-4EF1-AC56-20B83289A51C/details

Article published 10th February 2020

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